Metro Faregates Going Paperless This Sunday, March 6

SmarTrip and farecard kiosks at the Union Station Metro

Metro faregates to accept SmarTrip® only starting March 6

Last day to trade-in paper farecards June 30

Starting Sunday, March 6, Metrorail faregates accept SmarTrip only and will no longer accept paper farecards, a key milestone on Metro’s yearlong phase-out of the outdated fare media. Customers with paper farecards may transfer the value to a SmarTrip card by using the brown vending machines at Metrorail stations or at any Metro sales office through June 30, 2016.

Since December 2015, Metro’s 450 blue fare vending machines have been dispensing SmarTrip cards rather than paper farecards, and today, paper farecards account for less than 0.5 percent of all Metrorail transactions.

SmarTrip is faster, more secure and more durable in several ways:

  • More secure. Unlike paper farecards, SmarTrip cards can be registered online to protect your value.  If the card is lost or stolen, any unused value can be transferred to a new card.
  • More durable. Moisture or demagnetization can easily destroy a paper farecard, resulting in a loss of value. SmarTrip cards do not have these issues.
  • Faster entry and exit. When all customers use SmarTrip cards, there are fewer backups at the faregates.
  • More reliable. SmarTrip technology uses no moving parts, unlike the highly mechanical and maintenance-prone equipment needed to process paper farecards.
  • Transfer benefits. SmarTrip is the only way to take advantage of cost-saving transfer options between Metrobus and Metrorail.
  • Set it and forget it. Metro’s Auto Reload feature gives SmarTrip users the convenience of having value automatically loaded to their card anytime their balance drops below $10.

For more information about trading in a paper farecard visit this link.

(Photo via Jonathan Colman, on Flickr)

Lee Hernly, Editor
the authorLee Hernly, Editor
Founder & Editor
Lee Hernly is the Founder and Editor of Port City Wire, Alexandria, Virginia's best source for hyper-local news, opinion, and events. I live in the Old Town Alexandria area with my fantastic wife and son Sam. Oh, there’s Serena & Bea too. I’m so excited to meet new readers and see where you are from! Please be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog so I can check it out!

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