What is the rider's responsibility? — Riders need to be on the platform and ready to board before the train's arrival and to validate one's ticket before boarding the train. If one boards the train without a validated ticket, then that individual is at risk of receiving a citation for fare evasion.

What is fare evasion? - The Code of the Commonwealth of Virginia §18.2-160.1 states any person who boards or rides a train and fails to properly validate a train ticket is in violation of the law Any person who violates this provision is subject to a civil penalty. Therefore, all tickets must be validated PRIOR to boarding the train. The moment a passenger steps aboard the train without a valid ticket, fare evasion has been committed.

What constitutes as a valid ticket? - VRE offers a variety of tickets, so how do you know how to validate your ticket type?

For a Monthly Ticket you simply sign the back of the ticket and it is considered valid.

For a Ten-Ride, Single-Ride and Free Ride Certificates, you must place these tickets into a ticket vending machine (TVM) located on the platform. When the TVM prints a date stamp, the available ride is removed from your ticket and a validation is printed on the face of the ticket. These tickets must be validated each time you board.

To validate a Day Pass, place your ticket into the TVM located on the platform. Then the machine will print an expiration validation across the front of your ticket. This ticket only needs to validate the first time it is used.

Remember: All tickets are only valid between their designated zones.

What is the conductor's responsibility? - If a conductor checks a ticket and finds that it has not been validated, or you are found to be riding outside of your zones, the conductor is required by VRE to issue a summons. Again, it is the rider's responsibility to make sure they validate their ticket prior to boarding the train, and by boarding our trains the rider has consented to our policies.

We understand there may be reasons why someone may not validate a ticket, but the summons issuing process is not the time to state your case. In the conductor's eyes, you either have a valid ticket or you don't.

Why does the conductor take my ticket? - As the plaintiff VRE has the burden of evidence, therefore, your ticket will be confiscated so that they can examine the ticket in question.

Under what circumstances can I be issued a summons?

  • Failure to validate any type of ticket, including FRCs
  • Traveling outside the designated zones
  • No remaining rides for travel
  • No ticket
  • Counterfeit ticket

What happens if I receive a fare evasion summons? - Once a fare evasion summons is written there are a few options:

1. Prepayment - Fare evasion prepayments are accepted by the general district court until 3:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the last business day before your court date. Payment in the amount of $100 fine + $94 court cost.

Note: Pre-court payments are deemed a waiver of a court hearing and entry of a guilty plea.

A. District courts accept personal checks, money orders, certified checks and credit cards.

B. Prepayments can only be made by mailing in your payment or paying at the court.

C. Mail your payment to the Alexandria General District Court, P.O. Box 320489, Alexandria, VA 22320-4489. Visit the Court: 520 King Street, Second Floor, Alexandria, VA 22314.

D. Online payment is not available at this time.

If you have any questions, call the clerk's office at 703-746-4030.

2. Attend court on your scheduled date to plead your case before a judge. This is when you have the chance to state your case. A judge is the only authority that can reduce the fine or dismiss the case. The conductor who issued the summons will also appear and the judge will make a ruling.

3. A request for waiver may be submitted only if you were the owner of valid monthly ticket at the time the summons was issued. Pursuant to the Tariff of the VRE 04.07.00, you must send a clear copy of the front and back of the ticket, proof of purchase along with a copy of the summons within 3 business days of the issue date on the citation. Request for waivers must be mailed or emailed within 1 week of receiving the summons. Requests for waivers can be denied for any reason. Mail your waiver request to:

Virginia Railway Express
Attn: Fare Evasion Waiver
1500 King Street, Suite 202
Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: 703-684-1313
Email: [email protected]

What happens when I go to court? - Court will be held on the scheduled date at the Alexandria General District. The issuing conductor will also be in attendance. Once the judge hears both sides, a ruling will be issued. If found guilty, the rider will need to pay the fine and court costs, which go to the Commonwealth and not to VRE. If dismissed, there are no fines or fees that need to be paid.

What happens after court? — Tickets are not automatically sent back to the rider. Passengers may send a request for the remaining value of the ticket once all fines are paid. Please email your request to [email protected] be sure to include your name, mailing address, and summons number.