The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail have established a partnership with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to install new faregates on the Mount Vernon Trail. “This partnership represents a significant investment of $30 million for 100 gates and creates recognition of the Mount Vernon Trail as an important part of the public transportation network,” said Randy Clarke, General Manager of WMATA. “A recent study showed that 100% of Mount Vernon Trail users were not paying a fare.”
The faregates will work with existing WMATA cards and installation will begin in late summer 2023. In addition to raising revenue, the fairgates have an additional benefit of providing traffic calming on the trail. “Ever since we began removing trail bumps this winter, the smoother trail surface means that there’s nothing to slow trail user speeds. These new faregates should help slow people down to safe speeds” said Judd Isbell, President of the Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail.
Reaction to the news has been mixed. “Is this some kind of April Fool’s post?” asked Twitter user @RunninTheMVT. “I mean, I’m just going to run around it.” Some users expressed support but had concerns. “I guess this is a good way to raise money to improve the trail, but I’m concerned that my cargo bike isn’t going to fit through even the wide gate,” said @CargoBikesRule in a tweet.
The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail needs your help to continue improving the trail. Sign up for a volunteer trail improvement event or Donate to Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail to help us purchase tools and supplies.