Fare hikes coming for many suburban transit systems, too


Virginia Railway Expressriders will see a 3 percent increase in the cost of daily tickets and monthly passes, starting in July. (Gerald Martineau)

Metro’s fare increases on Sunday aren’t the only financial hits looming for local commuters. Higher fares go into effect this weekend on some suburban train lines and county bus systems as well.

Virginia Railway Express riders will see a 3 percent increase in the cost of daily tickets and monthly passes.

For example, a trip from Fredericksburg to Union Station currently costs $10.30 for a single (one-way) ride and $285.50 for a monthly pass. The single ride will now cost $10.65, while the monthly pass will go up to $294.10.

Montgomery County’s Ride On buses are increasing fares to $1.80 from $1.70 for a fare paid in cash. It will now cost $1.60 to pay the fare with a SmarTrip card and $1.10 to transfer from Metro, both increases of 10 cents.

Seniors and people with disabilities can ride for free between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays. During the other hours, fares for these riders are going up five cents, so it will now cost 80 cents with SmarTrip, 90 cents with cash and 30 cents for using SmarTrip to transfer from Metro.

The price of a Ride On monthly pass will go up to $45 from $30. Children, age 4 and younger, will continue to ride for free.

The current Ride On fares went into effect on June 27, 2010. Major fare increases for Ride On typically follow Metro’s lead to stay consistent with Metro’s fare structure, said county spokeswoman Esther Bowring.

The Fairfax Connector will also hike fares. The base bus fare will increase 10 cents, to $1.80 for riders who pay cash and $1.60 for those who pay with SmarTrip.

Senior and disabled fares are also going up for Connector riders. They’re both going up by 5 cents, to 90 cents if paid with cash and 80 cents on SmarTrip.

Certain bus fares are also going up. Route 395, the Gambrill Road-Pentagon Express Line, will go up 35 cents to $5.35 regardless of payment method. Route 595, running from Reston to the Pentagon, and route 597, connecting Reston and Crystal City, are both going up 50 cents to $7.50.

There will be no change in price for Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) trains, DASH in Alexandria, Prince William County’s OmniRide and Arlington Transit.

TheBus of Prince George’s County will be raising its fare to $1.25 from $1, but not until September.

Jeremy Borden contributed to this report.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.
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