Metro’s new Faregate program signals the end of old SmarTrip cards

WASHINGTON, DC – Metro is halfway through its program to install new fare gates at its stations across the DC area, the transit system announced Wednesday. The new faregates, together with new ticket boxes on Metrobusser, will make it easier for customers to press and pay for their trips.

The transit system said it expects to complete the fare modernization program by the end of 2022. The new faregates and fareboxes come with technology upgrades that will allow customers to use mobile payment on Apple iOS and Android.

The hazard gates being replaced are more than 25 years old, making them harder to repair due to parts that have become obsolete, Metro said. The new faregates will also be faster.

Metro plans to phase out older SmarTrip cards purchased before 2012 because they contain outdated chip technology that does not work with the new faregates being installed at subway stations.

From 1 March, the old ticket cards will no longer be accepted in ticket machines at stations, ticket boxes on buses, car parks and shops. From February 7, customers will also not be able to add value to old cards online.

Metro has already started stopping the possibility of adding money to the old cards at ticket machines at all stations that currently have new faregates. Labels will be added to indicate which machines are no longer processing the old cards.

“We urge customers to replace their old SmarTrip cards today and not to wait,” Metro General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld said in a statement Wednesday.

Customers can replace their old ticket cards by mail, online, phone or in person and transfer any balance to a new or existing SmarTrip card or virtual card through SmarTrip mobile pay for iOS and Android.

Customers should check the serial number on the back of the SmarTrip card. If the serial number does not start with “0167”, it must be replaced.

Metro has a SmarTrip Card Replacement website that offers instructions on how to replace old cards or transfer balances to another card.

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