Maybe as soon as this month, a late Metro train could mean a refunded ride. Yes, you read right. WMATA said it wants to pay customers back for delayed rush hour commutes.

“People's trains are often late,” said Tom Rudin as his daily commute downtown ended at Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro. “I don't see how they're going to afford it.”

It's a big reason ridership has gone down, but Metro insists the quality of trains and tracks have gone up so much that it wants to refund rides more than 15 minutes late. The idea is being proposed to Metro's board.

“Research has found that at least 30% of our ridership losses in 2013-2016 were due to decreasing customer on-time performance,” said WMATA's proposal being made to the board Thursday.

Refunds would not be given for late rides because of significant weather or planned track work. Metro said the program aims at improving customer satisfaction while showing that the agency has greater confidence in its reliability.

“I think it might take a little more than that, frankly,” said rider Maureen Luna-Long. “But their heart is in the right place.”

Time is of the essence for Metro's board. If approved, the plan could go into effect January 27.