Northern Virginia not on board with D.C.’s fare decriminalization

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The D.C. Council has voted to decriminalize metro fare evasion, also known as “turnstile hopping,” and the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, or NVTC, is not happy about it.  

Tuesday, NVTC Chairman Paul Smedberg sent a letter to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, urging the district to reconsider fare evasion decriminalization.

Smedberg’s letter cites WMATA authorities’ projection that fare decriminalization would add revenue expenses to the system’s operating budget, through the loss of fare revenues. Amd said that Virginia tax payers, and riders, would have to help make up for the funds lost.

Smedberg argued that the legislation sends the wrong message to law abiding riders, and threatens to politicize relationships between the district, Virginia, Maryland and WMATA.

Smedberg said NVTC supports the WMATA Board Executive Committee’s suggestion to develop a program to provide subsidized fare cards to low-income residents. 

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