Washington Metro to Launch Pay-by-Phone Program in 2014
The Washington DC Metro has been discussing a pay-by-phone option for some time, and authorities announced that the system should be in place later this year.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, known as Metro, awarded the $184 million contract for the development of the system to Accenture.
A message on Metro’s website states that “The new system will be designed to provide a state-of-the-art system for Metro customers that enables them to continue to use SmarTrip cards, while expanding fare payment to chip-enabled credit cards, federal government ID cards and mobile phones using near field communications.”
The new system will be used in 10 Metrorail stations and 50 Metrobuses. Only 2,000 Metro riders will be selected for the program at first, but that number will be expanded if the pilot is a success.
If you use the Metro on a daily basis, you could soon be swapping your SmartTrip card for an app on your phone. The Metro continues to phase out paper fare cards in favor of plastic and technological alternatives. Less than 10% of Metro users still use paper fares to board their buses.