Metro’s new general manager and CEO plans to change the system’s fare structure.
Six weeks into the new job, Metro CEO and CEO Randy Clarke is trying to set goals for the DC area’s transit system.
In addition to completing the Silver Line expansion and returning 7000-series cars to service, he told the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission on Thursday that WMATA may review the fare structure.
Clarke admitted that the pricing structure is confusing.
“To be open and transparent, we probably have the most complex data structure on planet Earth,” Clarke said.
Some commission members have called for a more “simple and convenient” fare structure, rather than the mainstream that takes into account distance traveled and peak times.
“Certainly having a simpler fee structure could go a long way,” said commissioner Walter Alcorn, who also sits on WMATA’s board.
Clarke said they will likely bring new fare options to the WMATA board in the near future, but pointed to the complexity of the transit system.
“It’s a difficult system because it was built to do two things at the same time, trying to be both a commuter rail operation and an urban metro operation with obviously a bus system attached,” Clarke said. “The most important thing about the funding model is that it is sustainable and predictable. These two things are the most important factors that we need to address in the long run. »
There were no details at the meeting on what the fare structure might look like in the future, but he said that whatever options are chosen, Metro’s funding will have to be different from that of before the pandemic.
“There’s nowhere in America that transit fare recovery will happen when it was pre-COVID,” Clarke said. “It’s not going to happen. So we have to figure out if it does, how do we fund the system.
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