Changes start July 1 for fares and ser­vice

The Washington Post Sunday - - COMMUTER - — Faiz Sid­diqui

Metro’s board gave fi­nal ap­proval to fare in­creases and ser­vice cuts as part of an aus­tere fis­cal 2018 bud­get aimed at eas­ing the tran­sit agency’s fi­nan­cial strug­gles.

Be­gin­ning July 1, peak-pe­riod rail fares will in­crease 10 cents, with $2.25 as the new min­i­mum and $6 as the max­i­mum one-way fare. Off-peak fares will rise 25 cents, to $2, as will bus fares.

It’s the first fare in­crease in three years for the be­lea­guered sys­tem, which has strug­gled to re­ha­bil­i­tate its im­age since the Jan­uary 2015 L’En­fant Plaza smoke in­ci­dent that killed one and in­jured scores of riders. Since then, Metro has in­sti­tuted a reg­i­men of main­te­nance work aimed at restor­ing the sys­tem to a state of good re­pair, but the dis­rup­tions have frus­trated many riders, who have fled the sys­tem at his­toric rates.

As part of changes ap­proved in the $1.8 bil­lion op­er­at­ing bud­get, riders also will spend more time on plat­forms, as trains ar­rive about ev­ery eight min­utes across most of the sys­tem, with more fre­quent ser­vice down­town.

“We’ll come up with an­swers with re­gard to gov­er­nance, an­swers with re­gard to fund­ing and an­swers with re­gard to how we make Amer­ica’s Metro the best in the world — which it’s not to­day.” Ray LaHood, for­mer sec­re­tary of trans­porta­tion

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