The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) started issuing fare evasion citations as of Tuesday, November 1.
Metro had announced the new policy in early October, saying that it would implement the decision after a month-long warning campaign.
Metro Transit Police officers will now issue tickets to riders who do not tap fare boxes on Metrobuses, as well as those jumping fare gates and using emergency gates improperly.
“Fare recovery is a major issue and has been mentioned as one of the top concerns of customers when talking with Metro staff and Metro Board Members. Revenue from fares allows Metro to keep buses, trains, and MetroAccess serving our community,” WMATA said in a release.
Metro will also start testing faregate modifications this month in order to prevent individuals from entering rail stations without paying fares. Planned changes include physical deterrents on top of faregates and higher barriers.
In fiscal year 2022, fare revenues made up $213.5 million of Metro funding, while fare evasions are responsible for a loss of approximately $40 million in revenue, according to the transit agency.
In the meantime, Metro vowed to work with local partners to make public transit more affordable for low-income residents, with a fare pilot underway.