The next time a Metro meltdown makes you late for work, you may be entitled to a refund.

A new program, billed the “Rush-Hour Promise,” would provide full refund credits to peak-period rail and Metrobus riders who encounter delays of 15 minutes or more — customers who are more likely than others to reduce their ridership or abandon Metro entirely, the agency said.

It’s Metro’s strongest appeal to riders who have grown weary of Metro’s chronic reliability problems and have fled the system in droves. The rail system’s average weekday ridership of 615,000 trips is down significantly from 2008 peaks of 750,000, with research showing at least 30 percent of the losses stemming from customers citing reliability concerns, according to Metro.