Starting Tuesday, Metro Transit Police will be issuing citations and related fines to people caught jumping fare gates or failing to tap fare boxes at the front of buses.
The Washington Metro Area Transit Authority announced the new implementation of fare evasion fines on Friday. A campaign has been ongoing since Oct. 4 to warn riders of possible fines for fare evasion, with digital signs and paper fliers.
“Metro conservatively estimates revenue losses due to fare evasion totaling $40 million in fiscal year 2022 as a result of people who did not pay. This includes 34% of all Metrobus trips,” WMATA noted.
Fines vary by jurisdiction. The D.C. fine is $50, while fines in Maryland and Virginia can range up to $100, according to WMATA. Citations in D.C. will be considered civil offenses, while fare evasion citations in Maryland and Virginia are considered criminal offenses.
Metro Transit Police will be focusing on adult offenders with the new policy. While money is lost when students eligible for SmarTrip programs fail to tap their card, the losses are less than other fare evaders due to subsidies, according to ABC 7.
Other physical deterrents are also being tested in some Metrorail stations. These modifications include physical deterrents on top of fare gates and higher barriers, WMATA explained in Friday’s announcement.