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

Renewable natural gas on-road fuel use reaches historic high

Over the last five years, RNG use as a transportation fuel has increased 577%, displacing over seven million tons of carbon dioxide equivalen.

TRE creates link to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

Created in conjunction with DART, Trinity Metro, and the airport, the system replaces the existing shuttle that connects CentrePort passengers.

CCW to install TriMet driver protection system units

Will allow drivers to feel confident in driving their route while still being able to connect and interact with their passengers.

Valley Metro adding 24 more New Flyer CNG buses

Seventy percent of the vehicles in the Valley Metro fleet are powered by natural gas to support local clean air initiatives.

BYD launches the world's longest pure electric bus

With a passenger capacity of 250 people, the K12A can travel at a maximum speed of 43 mph.

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