Few things can tick off a Metro rider like tapping into a station, hearing there are 20-minute delays, tapping out to grab a cab, and having to pay a fare anyway. Now, that won’t be the case for those who exit the same stop within 15 minutes.
Starting today, Metro is granting customers a grace period to exit a station they’ve entered without incurring a charge for a trip not taken. The transit agency’s board approved the change earlier this year in its budget for the fiscal year that begins today. Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld described the new policy as a “refocusing” on riders.
“Customers who are eligible for the grace period credit will notice an initial charge to their SmarTrip account; however, a credit for the entry fare will be credited to their account within 24 hours in most cases,” Metro explains in a release. “Riders who use SmartBenefits will see the credit at the start of the next month, while customers using an unlimited pass are not eligible to receive grace period credits.”
Still, the grace period isn’t without a catch: Metro’s board projected that it’ll cost the agency roughly $2 million a year.