Not all Metro’s ‘free’ shutdown parking is actually free

Not all parking spots at the Metro stations closed into September are free, despite the announcement from Metro in the run-up to the closure.

A WTOP listener got a $50 ticket June 10 for parking in a Franconia-Springfield spot that normally is reserved during the morning rush for people who pay an extra $45 per month. (She said she has seen others get similar tickets.)

Metro told WTOP Tuesday that the rules for those spaces are still being enforced, even though all stations south of Reagan National Airport are shut down. And if you didn’t cancel a recurring reserved pass, you’re still being charged.

The permits reserve a good spot that you can enter between 2 and 10 a.m. Reserved spaces at Huntington and Van Dorn Street cost $65 per month, and the same rules apply.

Riders who have been paying for reserved parking must cancel their permits by the 10th day of the month to avoid being charged for the following month, Metro policies state.

Unused permits can be returned to Metro’s parking office by the 10th day of the month the permit is effective “for a refund to be considered.”

So what’s free?

During the shutdown, Metro is not charging the additional daily parking fees to reserved permit holders or to other people who park at the closed stations, under a resolution approved by the Metro Board in April.

“The Board waives collection of all parking rates at Franconia-Springfield, Huntington and Van Dorn Street parking facilities during station shutdowns due to the platform reconstruction projects on the Blue and Yellow lines for no later than six months after the waiver of the parking rates was implemented and authorizes the General Manager/CEO to terminate the waiver sooner,” the resolution said.

Huntington and Franconia-Springfield each typically have hundreds of additional spaces (or more) available each day even when trains are running, with even more spaces available during this summer’s shutdown.

The Franconia-Springfield, Huntington, Van Dorn Street, Eisenhower Avenue, King Street and Braddock Road stations are scheduled to be closed through Sept. 8.

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