Metro riders will soon see new, upgraded faregates as testing gets underway at six pilot stations
Metro today began public testing at six rail stations of new, modernized faregates that will replace Metro’s aging faregate technology. The new faregates will include enhanced safety features, larger displays, and faster processing that will make passing through the gates quicker and easier.
As part of a month-long pilot project, test faregates have been installed at Clarendon, Dunn Loring, Gallery Place, Glenmont, Waterfront and West Falls Church stations for customers to try out. Once testing is complete, Metro will begin the systemwide replacement as early as next month.
“Metro’s faregates are more than 25 years old and at the end of their useful life,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld. “Modernizing our fare payment technology will take Metro into the future. Customers can already pay with their mobile devices and soon new and improved faregates will make it quicker, and easier for anyone to ride.”
The faregate replacement project is part of Metro’s overall investment in improving the customer experience and fare payment system. Today, Metro customers have the option of contactless fare payment with SmarTrip mobile pay for iOS and Android. Customers can pay, buy passes and manage their accounts from their mobile devices.
Beginning this fall, Metro will replace approximately 2,500 parking meters with pay stations that will offer more convenient payment options, so customers can ditch their coins. Next year, Metrobus customers will also benefit from new fareboxes that will be installed across Metro’s fleet of more than 1,500 buses.
The new faregates are made with high-quality, brush-finished stainless steel and will replace more than 1,200 faregates across all 91 stations. Installation systemwide is expected to take approximately one year, with Metro working on clusters of four to six stations at once during overnight and non-business hours. Each cluster of stations will take one to two weeks to complete with the Potomac Ave, Eastern Market, Capitol South and Federal Center SW stations being the first to get the new faregates. Stations will remain open to customers during the replacement process.
In modernizing the faregates, Metro’s first-generation SmarTrip cards, issued in 2012 or earlier, will not be compatible with the new faregates and will need to be replaced once full installation begins at stations you use. Beginning today, SmartBenefits participants who are actively using Metro or a Regional Bus Partner may also begin to replace their first-generation SmarTrip cards using the online, self-service replacement process. To learn more and determine if your card needs to be replaced visit wmata.com/cardreplacement.