Metro improving SmarTrip® cards
New features and $3 credit effectively lowers price
Metro plans to offer customers who purchase new SmarTrip® cards a $3 rebate when they register online, effectively reducing the cost of the cards to $2. The effort is intended encourage more riders to take advantage of the plastic, rechargeable fare card that also provides a discount on Metrobus and Metrorail fares.
The Metro Board’s Finance and Administration Committee will be briefed on several SmarTrip® improvements on Thursday:
Future SmarTrip® initiatives planned for 2013 and 2014 include developing a mobile application to give customers all of the functions of the SmarTrip® self-service website on their mobile phones, enabling riders to purchase passes with SmartBenefits® and allowing customers to add value to SmarTrip® cards at the Exit fare machines.
Nearly 90 percent of Metrobus riders and more than 80 percent of Metrorail riders currently use SmarTrip®. Further increasing the usage of SmarTrip® has benefits for both riders and Metro. SmarTrip® saves riders’ money, eliminates the need to stand in line to use vending machines in stations and offers balance protection for registered users who lose their cards. For Metro, increasing SmarTrip® use reduces the need for paper fare cards, and also cuts costs and fraud.
Cards also are available for purchase online, at commuter stores and at 250 retail locations including many CVS and Giant stores throughout the region. Metro is seeking to expand the network of retail outlets for installing SmarTrip® cards.
SmarTrip® users pay less for their Metrorail and Metrobus fares. Bus riders save 20-cents per ride, get free bus-to-bus transfers and a 50-cent discount if transferring to rail when using SmarTrip®. Beginning July 1, Metrorail will charge an extra dollar per trip for riders who use paper fare cards. Riders may avoid the $1 surcharge by using SmarTrip®.
For more information about SmarTrip® or to purchase a card, go to http://www.wmata.com/fares/smartrip/.
News release issued at 10:56 am, June 11, 2012.