One of the ways Metro is hoping to entice riders back to the system is to waive the fees it charges for keeping the trains running during events in the D.C. area.
The transit agency’s board is authorizing the general manager/CEO to waive the special services fee. These are fees Metro collects during special events — such as games and races — when trains run past regular operating hours, or there is enhanced service during operating hours.
“To encourage the use of Metrorail during large scale special events, it is prudent to waive the fee normally charged to the sponsoring organization for special services and to waive the requirement for a request from a sponsoring organization for the special services,” the resolution said.
The waiver will last through Jan. 1, 2022.
“Metro is a part of the region’s economic recovery,” Metro Board Chair Paul Smedberg said in a statement. “Not only for our championship teams, but also for other major events, and we want folks to know that Metro will be there when they want to ride.”
It costs $100,000 per hour to keep the system running beyond closing time. This money has to be put in escrow ahead of time, but whoever pays for it gets paid back the full amount of fares used during the extra hour.
During the Washington Capitals’ Stanley Cup run in 2018, Pepco parent company Exelon and the nation of Qatar each offered to pay for extra hours of Metro service during one of the playoff games.
As baseball, hockey and other sports gradually welcome fans back, Metro is already extending service for an additional 30 minutes after game ends, until midnight. Starting in June, it will expand hours on 36 Metrobus routes and restore service on some lines to pre-pandemic levels.
Metro has been considering several incentives to encourage ridership and trust, including fare discounts.
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