Metro's new bus and subway fare schedule goes into effect tomorrow along with the two-week transit "flash pass" for use on both bus and subway.
There is no change in the D.C. bus fares of 50 cents during rush hour and 40 cents the rest of the time. Rush hour is defined by Metro as 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays, excluding holidays.
Bus fares have been raised for most Virginia residents and many Maryland residents. Fares have been lowered for some Maryland residents because of a combination of bus zones.
In suburban Maryland, Zones 2, 3 and 4 have been combined into one giant Zone 2. In suburban Virginia, Zones 3 and 4 have been combined into one Zone 3. Specific fares for zone-to-zone travel are shown in the tables.
The new subway fare schedule will feature a flat 50-cent fare for all trips during non-rush hours. During rush hour, the first three miles will cost 40 cents and each succeeding mile will cost 8.5 cents. That means the fare from Silver Spring to Metro Center will increase by 5 cents, to 80 cents. The minimum rush hour fare for a subway trip across the Potomac River will be 45 cents.
Special low fares will continue for elderly and handicapped riders who have picked up their special passes and Farecards. Bus fares for elderly and handicapped riders will be half the non-rush-hour fare (rounded down to the nearest 5 cents) at all times. Rail fares for elderly and handicapped riders will be half the rush-hour fare (rounded down to the nearest 5 cents) at all times. The maximum rail fare for elderly and handicapped riders on any one trip will be 50 cents.
Metro will continue its policy of forbidding riders from transferring from bus to rail. Two full fares must be paid. However, riders may transfer from rail to bus at a discount. They must get their transfer from machines at the Metro station where they board the subway. Riders transferring from rail to bus must pay zone-crossing charges plus their transfer. That has been the case in Virginia; it is new in Maryland.
Metro's new transit passes, or "flash passes" are designed to make bus-rail transfer easier. Each pass, good for a specified two-week period, contains a given amount of rail fare plus unlimited bus rides within certain zones. While bus-rail transferring is made simplier, the pass is not always a bargain. Each rider will have to figure it out for himself. The rider loses any remaining value left in the pass at the end of two weeks.
There are three passes. They are a $10 base pass, good for unlimited bus trips and $5 worth of subway rides in one zone, including all of D.C.; a $16 Maryland-D.C. pass, good for $6.25 worth of subway rides and unlimited bus rides in or between Maryland and D.C., and the $16 Virginia two-zone pass, which includes $5 in rail trips and is good for any two-zone bus trip in Virginia. CAPTION: Map, No Caption, The Washington Post; Chart 1, SELECTED ROUND-TRIP BUS-RAIL FARES, The Washington Post; Chart 2, METROBUS FARES, The Washington Post; Chart 3, Station-Station Rush-Hour* Fares Effective July 2, The Washington Post, (FOOTNOTE)
*Rush Hour is between 6 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. weekdays, excluding holidays. At times other than rush hour, Metro subway fare will be 50 cents, regardless of distanc. (END FOOT)