Why is Metro issuing refunds?

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Metro said it has been charging the wrong fares for years and now it’s giving refunds to a few of its riders.

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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority slipped in word of this snafu in the bottom of a weekend news release on fare hikes and new schedules. In small font, it called this a “technical correction to fare tables.”

What does that really mean?

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Metro says about five percent of its riders were overcharged starting in 2015. According to the release, most of the charges were about a nickel off than what they were supposed to be. 

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The agency is refunding anyone who paid more than two dollars extra by crediting registered SmarTrip cards. Cards will be credited sometime this summer, said Metro.

In this mess-up, Metro said it undercharged even more riders. That made the agency lose about $300,000. That’s just a tiny fraction of the agency’s budget, about 0.007 percent. The agency said undercharged riders will not owe money.