DC residents are getting closer to receiving Metro cards of up to $100 each month, after a DC Council committee passed a bill on Monday, September 26.
Residents would be able to sign up for a recurring monthly balance of $100 on their SmarTrip cards and use it for free or discounted rides on Metrorail and Metrobus.
Having passed the DC Council’s five-person Committee on Transportation and the Environment unanimously, the bill now needs approval from the Committee of the Whole.
It is expected to be voted by the full Council in October.
The bill, which was introduced by Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, also aims at dedicating approximately $10 million annually to improving and expanding public transport services in the District.
Big step today! Metro for DC approved by Committee on Transportation. Thx @marycheh!
👉 $100/month for DC residents to ride WMATA 🚌 & 🚇.
👉 Millions each year into new Transit Equity Fund to improve service & reliability for riders in under-invested neighborhoods.
More 👇 pic.twitter.com/wd47O4b1Lx
— Charles Allen (@charlesallen) September 26, 2022
“For the essential worker who never stopped commuting and depends on the bus and train, this is going to be a much-needed boost to their family’s budget. And for residents who have more options, this will help bring more people back to the Metro,” Allen said in a statement.
Allen also emphasized that the city should transform its transit system to meet international standards in terms of frequency, reliability, and quality primarily in underserved neighborhoods through annual funds of millions of dollars.
The councilmember initially introduced the Metro For DC bill before the COVID-19 pandemic hit DC.
“This is about more than riders’ wallets,” Allen added. “I’ve heard from many small businesses excited about what more affordable transit will mean both for their employees and customers. Bold policies like this will add up to reasons why a business decides to open up shop in DC and why it flourishes.”
According to an analysis by the DC Council Budget Office, around 67 percent of DC residents who regularly use Metro earn less than $90,000 and almost 40 percent of likely beneficiaries earn less than $36,000 a year.