GREATER DMV REGION (WDVM) — Metrobus has returned to its regular weekday schedule, but a new report shows that 1 in 3 riders don’t pay the fare.
According to a quarterly update report from the Metro Board, the fare evasion rate has grown significantly over time. Through the first half of fiscal year 2022, 34% of Metrobus riders didn’t pay their fares.
“Dating back to FY2016, Metrobus fare evasion rates have steadily increased over time. The YTD FY2022 fare evasion rate is 34 percent. This compares to 14 percent for FY2019 and 17 percent for FY2020,” read the report.
WMATA says its operating budget has been greatly impacted by fare revenue loss. The combined loss is related to fare evasion for both Metrobus and Metrorail was $10 million in the first half of FY 2022. For perspective, that figure was $36 million for the full year in FY 2019.
The report states the current fare evasion is estimated at 2% of ridership. Fare evasion rates are monitored in different ways, such as fare gate sensors and data that is manually recorded by operators. Because of this, Metro says the numbers may be “underreported.”
New technology on Metrorail and Metrobus will allow for more accurate reporting in the future.