Metro: We’ll pay you if you’re delayed


Starting Friday morning, if you’re delayed by 15 minutes oe more on a Metro train or bus in rush hour Metro will give you a credit for future travel.

Metro calls it their “Rush Hour Promise” and here’s how it works:

First, you’ll need to register a SmarTrip card. You can do that here.


Rail customers who use the card will have their time tracked from the time they “tap in” through a fare gate to the time they “tap out.” During weekday rush hours, if the trip takes 15 minutes or longer than the expected travel time Metro will automatically issue a credit to the customer’s SmarTrip card. For customers paying with stored value or using SmartBenefits, the credit will cover the full value of the delayed trip.


The Rush Hour Promise includes Metrobus service, as well, covering delays of 15 minutes or more caused by mechanical problems or “no show” buses. Because bus customers don’t”tap out” at the end of their trip, a simple online form is provided that customers can use to request Rush Hour Promise credit. After confirming the delay, a credit will be applied to the customer’s registered SmarTrip card.

Metro says service is improving

“Rush Hour Promise is our commitment to riders that we are accountable for providing reliable, on-time service,” says Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld. “We want our customers to know that we value their time, and we’re going to do everything we can to keep them moving safely and efficiently.”

Metro reports that nearly 90 percent of customers now arrive at their destination on time as a result of Metro’s investment in new trains, enhanced maintenance programs and renewed track infrastructure. Trips exceeding the 15-minute delay threshold are extremely rare, according to Metro, accounting for less than one percent of trips on many days.

What delays are covered?

Metro says almost all common causes of delays are covered under the Rush Hour Promise, including mechanical issues, track problems, police activity and sick customers. Rail customers eligible for a credit will be notified by email the next business day and a credit will be issued to their SmarTrip card within 5 business days.

What’s not covered?

  • Major capital work or repair projects when customer notification is made in advance.
  • Severe weather events (e.g. major winter snowstorms) when Metro service is adjusted and/or customer notification is made in advance.
  • Extraordinary circumstances or “force majeure” events, such as a region-wide blackout or major security incident, when service is affected.
  • Metrobus trips delayed by traffic, weather or factors outside Metro’s control.

Customers using pass products such as the monthly SelectPass, One Day Pass and Seven Day Pass that are already discounted will receive a $3 credit for delayed Metrorail trips and $1 credit for delayed Metrobus trips under the program. U-Pass and Kids Ride Free passes are not eligible for the Rush Hour Promise.


About the Author

Ed Tobias
Ed Tobias brings more than four decades of reporting and news management experience to his work at FairfaxNews. Tobias managed news coverage for Associated Press Radio for over twenty years.  This included coverage of the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia shuttle disasters and national election primaries, conventions and campaigns.  He was part of the team that built AP’s on-line video operation. Prior to joining AP, Tobias was News Director at all-news WTOP in Washington, D.C. He has won two Ohio State Awards for his reporting and producing and he led coverage that won an Edward R. Murrow Award.