D.C. Metro proposes 5 percent bus, rail fare increase

WASHINGTON — Metro is proposing to raise bus and rail fares by about 5 percent in an effort to overcome a $116 million shortfall in its upcoming operating budget.

Riders who use paper fare cards would see the biggest change under the proposal, paying a one-way flat fare of $6 during rush hour and $4 during off-peak hours. The proposal would also increase rail fares in rush-hour periods for those using SmarTrip cards, and bus fares would increase by a dime.

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles says “years of not spending enough money on maintenance” have hurt the system.

Sarles plans to present the proposed $1.6 million operating budget for fiscal 2013 to the board of directors on Thursday. If approved, most of the rate changes will take effect July 1.