WMATA launches reduced fare programme for low-income riders

Posted: 7 June 2023 | | No comments yet

WMATA takes a significant step towards promoting transit equity and affordability in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia region with its new Metro Lift programme, providing reduced fares for low-income riders.

WMATA launches reduced fare programme for low-income riders

Credit: WMATA

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA/Metro) has announced that it will launch a new income-qualified reduced fare programme called ‘Metro Lift’ on 20 June 2023. This initiative, approved by WMATA’s Board of Directors, aims to promote transit equity and affordability in the Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia region, known for its high cost-of-living and economic disparities. Low-income customers who qualify for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) can enrol in the programme.

Participants in Metro Lift will receive a 50% discount on Metrorail and Metrobus fares. Online enrolment and appointment scheduling will begin on 20 June 2023 through the WMATA website, while in-person enrolment will start on 26 June 2023 at three designated sites.

“Our priority is making transportation accessible for all customers. The savings from this programme will give our customers opportunities to access jobs with higher wages, travel to medical appointments and access more of the region,” said WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke. “We understand that every dollar counts, and that accessibility to reliable, affordable transportation is a difference maker, especially in this region.”

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Enrolment in Metro Lift is free, and applicants must demonstrate that they are current recipients of SNAP benefits in the D.C., Maryland, or Virginia area. Approximately 471,000 individuals in the region receive SNAP benefits, including those already enrolled in other reduced fare programmes. These existing customers will continue to receive the same discounted fares and are not required to enrol in Metro Lift.

The fare discount will remain valid for one year after enrolment, accessible within 48 hours for online enrolees and immediately for those who enrol in-person. WMATA will gather customer feedback to refine the programme and plans to expand enrolment locations in the future. By introducing Metro Lift, Metro aims to increase ridership and make public transit more affordable for low-income individuals in the region.