LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Riding Metro is about to get more expensive.

WMATA’s Finance and Administration Committee agreed to a three percent across-the-board fare increase Thursday. It will go into effect July 1.

However, much of the debate at the meeting centered around the fare structure for Metro Access, a service for disabled Metro riders.

The fare is currently structured so a ride on a Metro Access van is double the price of a comparable rail fare; however, the maximum charge is $7. That will be dropping to $6.50.

Another point of contention was the cash surcharge on Metro bus riders.

The current fare is $1.60 per ride using a Smartrip card and $1.80 using cash. Opponents of the cash surcharge say lower income riders are more likely to pay with cash, and so the surcharge disproportionately hurts those who can least afford it.

The surcharge had been initiated to encourage more riders to switch to Smartrip cards and to speed up the loading process of buses.

Under the 2015 budget the surcharge will be abandoned, which means it will cost everyone $1.75 to ride Metro bus. In other words, the price for Smartrip riders went up, and cash riders will be paying less.

Parking will also get slightly more expensive with a ten cent increase at Metro stations with parking. Most Prince George’s county lots will see an increase of another 50 cents on top of that. The extra increase is aimed at raising funds for development around those Metro stops.

WNEW’s Kris Ankarlo contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter.


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