[IMAGE]WMATA-Smartrip-user-full-2.jpg[/IMAGE]The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) is making it easier for area university students to take advantage of SmarTrip convenience and savings with cards now being sold at Washington, D.C.'s American University campus bookstore. SmarTrip card users also will be able to add value to their cards at the store.
American University joined the College Park, Md.-based University of Maryland in bringing the SmarTrip convenience to its campus. Earlier this year, the University of Maryland purchased 5,000 SmarTrip cards for distribution to incoming freshman students.
About 78 percent of Metrorail riders and 68 percent of Metrobus riders use SmarTrip, according to the latest statistics available. SmarTrip cards improve service for customers by speeding up the time it takes to pass through Metrorail fare gates or board a Metrobus.
“Many universities in the Washington region are Metro accessible and we want to encourage students to take Metro as their preferred method of transportation,” said Chris Zimmerman, chairman for Metro’s Customer Service and Operations Committee and a graduate of American University. “Using a SmarTrip card to pay for fare will save students money every trip they take.”
Metrorail riders who pay their fare with a SmarTrip card instead of a paper fare card save 25 cents per trip. Metrobus riders who pay with SmarTrip instead of cash save 20 cents per trip.
SmarTrip card users also receive a discount of 50 cents when transferring between Metrobus and Metrorail. Bus-to-bus transfers with a SmarTrip card are valid for free, unlimited transfers within a two-hour period on regular Metrobus and regional bus routes, including ART, DASH, DC Circulator, CUE, Fairfax Connector, Ride On and TheBus.
SmarTrip cards are available for purchase throughout the Washington, D.C., region from more than 300 retail outlets, such as Giant and CVS/pharmacy. In addition to retail outlets, SmarTrip cards may be purchased online, at Metro sales offices and commuter stores and through vending machines at all Metrorail stations where Metro-operated daily parking is available.
SmarTrip card users are encouraged to register their cards online so that if their card is lost, they won’t lose the stored value. Metro recently launched an enhanced SmarTrip Website to allow customers to conveniently view their card balance and usage history, add multiple cards to their account, report a lost card, request a replacement card or transfer the balance to another registered card.