British to test instant refunds

August 23, 2015

WASHINGTON — British transportation officials are testing a new system that would give passengers instant refunds for trains that arrive late at their destinations.

Locally Metro does not offer a service guarantee refund policy.  Metro policies do offer travel credits for future trips on occasion, as seen earlier this month after the derailment near the Smithsonian station.

VRE does not typically offer refunds because tickets are non-refundable. The agency does allow people to request refunds and says it makes exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

MARC does not offer refunds either, although train conductors will often skip collecting tickets when trains are running significantly late.   Thus the train would be free for those who purchase single day tickets.

 SEPTA commuter trains in Philadelphia have service guarantees.  If a train arrives more than 15 minutes late at the destination, then passengers will get a free future trip.  But according to SEPTA, passengers must go to one of several locations to fill out a refund claim form.

The same is true in the United Kingdom.  But the Times of London reports that nine out of 10 people who are eligible for a refund do not claim the money. People are often unwilling to take the time to go somewhere to fill out a form.

Reporter Ari Ashe of Washington, D.C.’s WTOP has the full story by clicking here.

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