Many, many people have written in asking why we have to pay just to enter a station. They argue that it's a ripoff to swipe the farecard and then have to pay the minimum fare if, say, there's a major delay and they decide it's quicker to get to their destination by exiting the system immediately to walk or get a cab instead of dealing with MetroMess.
Here's WMATA's answer:
Metro uses a two point fare system, you swipe your card when you enter and again when you leave. It is expected that when you enter the system you do so with the intent of going someplace other than where you started, and we collect the fare accordingly. We also have in place a policy that states if a major delay or incident happens, the General Manager has the authority to invoke our “Zero Fare Policy” which allows customers to leave the system from the same station they enter at with no fare charged. (Board notification is required every time this is enacted as it violates our tariff)Here's what San Fran's BART does if you decide you don't want to ride:
Now, image you and a friend (Internet, Craig’s list) both ride every day. You get on at Vienna and travel to Metro Center and your friend conveniently gets on at Metro Center and travels to Vienna. You determine that if you meet at, let’s say Rosslyn, he gives you his fare card and you give him your fare card, you would both have fare cards showing you leaving from the same station you entered and…
You can find our tariff here: http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/docs/WMATA_Tariff_Effective_06272010.PDF
You would pay a fare of $5.20 because the gates presume you've been riding around for any period of time less than three hours.Photo: sabine01
To avoid such a charge, see the station agent instead of going through the fare gate. If the ticket is still open and has not been used for exit, the agent can reset that ticket.
Women stuck in station (Examiner)