Credit Cards Soon to Be Accepted on the D.C. Metro

Credit Cards Soon to Be Accepted on the D.C. Metro

March 18, 2013         Written By Natalie Rutledge

Frequent Metro users in Washington D.C. should be pleased to know that the company may soon offer a chance to pay for tickets with credit cards. Rather than using the dated and often faulty SmarTrip system, riders will be able to hold a credit card up to a machine to pay their fares. This could potentially reduce the congestion in the Metro and speed up the payment system at the same time.

The transition to credit card machines was first discussed in 2009, and it was scheduled to go into effect in 2011. There was an issue with the company contracted for the work though, and the option was postponed until now. Metro board members are sorting through the final round of applications for the contract, and they should soon have a company in line to do the work. Then it is just a matter of waiting.

While it will cost Metro a lot of money to start this process, it is projected to save the transit agency $30 million a year after completion. Costly repairs and frequent glitches with the current gates actually put a delay in profits in 2010 that the company is still trying to recover from. All Metro facilities will need new fare gates, central computers, and updated websites to work with the system. Metro plans to test this out in a few select locations before officially spreading credit card payments throughout the company. If there is a positive response, everything will change.

Metro is not only planning to accept credit card payments in the coming years. It is also planning to allow smartphone payments at the same fare gates. Riders with stored account information on their phones can simply hold the devices up to the gate ad gain entry. A similar system is already in use for London buses.

It may be a few years before Metro officially launches a credit card acceptance, but expect to see a change at some point. Assuming the pilot program goes well, this may soon become the standard for paying for public transit.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 18, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


natalierutledge

About Natalie Rutledge

Natalie Rutledge majored in Communications at Mississippi State University. She was in sales for a number of businesses and spent nine years working as a communications advisor to various entities. Natalie can be contacted directly at natalie@lowcards.com
View all posts by Natalie Rutledge
Featured Limited/No Credit
Top Features : No annual fee; reports to major credit bureaus; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Fair Credit Card
Top Features : No annual fee; access to higher credit line after making first 5 monthly payments on time
Featured Low Interest Card
Top Features : 1.25X miles on every purchase; no annual fee; bonus of 20,000 miles once $1,000 is spent in first 3 months
Featured Cash Back Card
Top Features : 1.5% cash back on all purchases; $150 bonus after spending $500 in first 3 months
Featured No Annual Fee Card
Top Features : 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay; 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers
Featured Bad Credit Card
Top Features : Perfect credit not required; Reports to major credit bureaus