Software glitch reported on first day of higher Metro fares

By Lisa Rein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 28, 2010

A software glitch on the first day of Metro's higher fares allowed riders using paper fare cards at 34 stations to enter for the old fare Sunday.

Metro technicians discovered the problem early in the morning, said Reggie Woodruff, a Metro spokesman. The last fare gate was fixed by 2 p.m., when all stations were charging the higher fare. SmarTrip cards were charged the correct fare throughout the day.

Woodruff said it was unclear why the software, recently added to fare gates in the 34 stations to upgrade the transit agency's fare collection system, failed to charge the higher amount.

"We anticipated that there might be glitches," he said. "With all the programming we did for so many stations, it was bound to happen."

The changes that took effect Sunday raised rail fares by about 18 percent and bus fares 20 percent. Implementing the increases was a challenge because Metro had only about 30 days to test and implement them across its bus and rail systems.

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