WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Fares are going up for Metro riders.

Metro’s board of directors voted Thursday for the first increase in bus and rail fares in the system in two years. The hike raises the average rail fare by about 5 percent. Bus fares are increasing by a dime, rising to $1.60 for those who use SmarTrip cards.

A $1 surcharge will also be added to users of paper fare cards, which are primarily utilized by tourists. In addition, the rates at Park and Ride locations will also increase by a quarter.

The rates take effect July 1.

Metro’s General Manager Richard Sarles said he fully understands some riders will be frustrated with the increases because of the issues plauging the transit system as of late. Most recently a Blue Line train suffered a minor derailment at the Rosslyn Station.

“That’s why were doing all the improvements we have been doing,” Sarles told All-News 99.1 WNEW. “There’s a lot more work to be done.”

Two weeks ago, a board committee approved the fare increases. Metro officials hope to use revenue from the fee increases to help close a budget gap of about $100 million for the next fiscal year.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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