Metro set to increase service, decrease some rail fares

Metro is set to increase service and reduce some costs in the hope that riders will go back to using the system.

Under changes approved by the Metro Board of Directors on Thursday, Metrorail hours will be extended to midnight, seven days a week, starting next month, and until 1 a.m. on the weekends, starting in September.

Starting Labor Day weekend, there will be more service as well: Trains will arrive every 10 minutes on other lines and every five minutes on the Red Line, starting later in the year, during peak hours.

Trains will operate every six minutes on the Red Line and every 12 minutes on all other lines during off-peak hours, starting in September on weekdays and later in the year on the weekends. After 9:30 p.m., trains will come every 10 minutes on the Red Line and every 15 minutes on all other lines, also starting in September.

Also starting in September, rail riders will pay a $2 flat fee on weekends, and prices will be temporarily slashed for monthly passes. The rail-bus transfer fee will be eliminated.

On the bus, starting in September, 20 bus lines will operate every 12 minutes or better; 16 other lines will operate every 20 minutes or better between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., seven days a week. Service will be restored or improved on an additional 46 bus routes.

“I think these incentives on the table will hopefully, again, welcome people back – will give them an incentive to get on Metro [and] hopefully resume their commuting patterns,” Metro board chair Paul Smedberg said before the vote.

John Aaron

John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP.

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