Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Board approves Metro fare increase

Metro riders will see a 10-cent fare hike through June. Hatchet file photo.

This March, be prepared to pay 10 cents more for your Metrobus, MetroAccess or Metrorail ride.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority’s  Board of Directors approved a 10-cent increase on fares across the system on Wednesday. While no service cuts will be made, the fare increase will be in effect from March through June and is designed to help reduce a $40 million budget gap. More details on the fare changes can be found here.

Along with the increases in cost, there may be some good news for riders. In the future, passengers may be able to pay directly with a credit card or debit card to ride Metro, instead of dealing with reloading a SmarTrip card or buying a paper farecard.

On Thursday, The Hatchet reported on the new credit card initiative at Metro, and today WMATA Board Chairman Peter Benjamin provided additional details.

Benjamin, who just started his term as chairman this week, said the bank card initiative has been in development for 25 years, but now it may be only one or two years before the system is available.

Plans call for electronic chips to be embedded  inside bank cards much like the chips inside SmarTrip cards, so they could be waved in front of sensors at faregates, he said. Benjamin added that in some places student ID cards may work with Metro as well.

Right now, Metro is working with banks to get the system going. Benjamin said the initiative it’s about customer convenience.

“You don’t have to get farecards, you don’t have to take the card out of your wallet. It just deals with a bank account,” he said.

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