The common practice of Metro honoring MARC and VRE tickets during commuter rail service disruptions has been scrapped.
Metro said that beginning July 1 it will no longer offer the “Metro Option,” citing an inability to track or seek reimbursements for the tickets.
Typically, when VRE or MARC experienced long service disruptions, Metro has allowed rail passengers to use Metrorail, entering using the emergency gates instead of the SmarTrip gates. But according to Metro, this was an informal agreement and there was no system in place for Metro to track how many passengers took advantage of the option. This, Metro also had no way of getting reimbursed for the fares.
Metro said it was ending the practice in “an effort to reduce fare-payment disputes, improve safety, and ensure that every rider is counted toward WMATA’s funding grants.”
Metro said it is encouraging all MARC and VRE riders to carry a SmarTrip card with them at all times in case they do need to ride Metro.