WMATA is considering a new program, called “Rush Hour Promise,” that would fully refund Metrorail and Metrobus riders who encounter delays of 15 minutes or more. If approved, this program will run for the 2018 calendar year and could cost the transit system $2 million to $3.5 million, as reported by the Washington Post.
Only customers with SmarTrip cards will receive a refund credit. While rail customers will receive refunds automatically, bus riders will need to fill out an online form to have their fare returned to them. Traffic congestion is not a factor that will be considered for refunds. The program will only accommodate for late dispatches and mechanical breakdowns.
The Washington Post further reports that 88 percent of rail customers’ trips were on time by last fall. From July 2017 through October 2017, 0.5 percent of Metro trips saw delays of at least 15 minutes. Currently, the rail system’s average weekday ridership is 615,000, down from 2008 when it was 750,000.
On “Rush Hour Promise,” Metro board chairman Jack Evans said in an interview with the Washington Post, “Metro’s never done anything like that before. I think this is a reflection of the progress we’ve made in the last two years.”
The Metro board will consider the proposal on Thursday with a full board vote on January 25. If approved, it will be initiated January 26.
• In unprecedented move, Metro seeks to provide refunds for trips delayed 15 minutes or more [The Washington Post]