Metro's historic fare increase is hitting some riders far harder than others -- with some paying entirely out of their own pockets while a large percentage, including 170,000 federal employees, enjoys a commuter benefit of up to $230 a month that offsets the cost.
That disparity has generated complaints of unfairness from some commuters, but it could shrink by the end of this year, when the size of the federal commuter benefit will fall by almost half -- to $120 a month -- unless Congress passes legislation to extend it.
"It's ridiculous," Anthony Cuff, 26, a FedEx employee, said of the fare increase as he boarded a Red Line train Thursday. "The fare increase is making it very difficult for me to maintain my budget," said Cuff, who does not receive any benefit for his daily commute from Bowie.
"Somebody is paying for the fare increase -- it's our tax dollars at work," Jan Augustine, a retired international management consultant from Chevy Chase who does not receive any transit benefit, said of federal workers' shares.