Bus

D.C. Metro to retrofit vending machines to dispense smartcards

Posted on May 22, 2014

A Metro rider purchases a fare card at the Foggy Bottom Metrorail station. Courtesy WMATA, Larry Levine.
A Metro rider purchases a fare card at the Foggy Bottom Metrorail station. Courtesy WMATA, Larry Levine.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) plans to retrofit more than 500 fare vending machines at stations throughout the system to dispense SmarTrip cards, rather than paper fare cards.

The contract for the ticket vending machines has not yet been awarded, according to Metro.

Metro is steadily transitioning away from the use of 1970s-era magnetic paper farecard technology. The machinery used to process paper fare cards is outmoded and includes an intricate system of rollers, printers, sensors, and wiring that is difficult and time-consuming to maintain when compared to the contactless SmarTrip technology.

Today, more than 90% of all Metrorail riders already use a SmarTrip card to pay for their trip.

According to Metro, SmarTrip is faster, safer and more convenient than using a paper farecard in several ways, including:

  • Lower cost. On Metrorail, each trip taken with a SmarTrip card costs $1 less than those taken with a paper farecard.
  • Added security. SmarTrip cards can be registered online. If the card is lost or stolen, the unused value can be transferred to a new card.
  • More durability. Moisture or demagnitization can easily destroy a paper farecard, resulting in a loss of value.
  • Transfer benefits. SmarTrip is also the only way to take advantage of cost-saving transfer options between Metrobus and Metrorail.
  • Auto Reload. Gives users the convenience of having value automatically loaded to their cards anytime their balance drops below $10.

Even after all upgrades are completed, paper fare cards will continue to be accepted for a period of time to allow riders ample time to deplete their value.

Eliminating paper fare cards has several benefits for riders and for Metro, including faster entry/exit for riders; more reliable fare gates; and the reduction of paper waste.

Customers can expect to start seeing upgraded fare vending machines in Metrorail stations late next year.

Metro is currently advancing a project that will eventually allow riders to pay for Metro travel using contactless debit or credit cards, mobile phones or federal ID cards.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Grande West receives orders for 9 Vicinity buses

Current total firm orders for 2017 and the first half of 2018 Vicinity deliveries are for 276 buses valued at over $74 million.

Gillig moves into upgraded HQ in Livermore, Calif.

The 127-year-old business, which operated out of Hayward for more than 80 years, will celebrate its grand opening on June 1.

Alexander Dennis begins Switzerland double-decker bus deliveries

The vehicles ordered for Eastern Switzerland are based on the company's Enviro500 standard model, but the company has adapted them to PostBus’s needs and Swiss regulations.

MCI delivers Commuter Coaches, J4500s to Texas, Canada

The first five Woodlands Township MCI Commuter Coaches were delivered in December of 2015, followed by 10 more coaches in March 2016, while Banff's Brewster Travel Canada has added 20 J4500s in 2016 and 2017.

ARBOC produces Spirit of Liberty buses for Fla. agency

Martin County intends to use these buses on their Commuter Service to Palm Beach County.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close