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Metro to issue July 4 commemorative card

Sunday - 4/28/2013, 9:34am  ET

WASHINGTON - Commemorative SmarTrip cards worked well for the presidential inauguration in January, so WMATA is bringing them back for the Fourth of July.

Hundreds of thousands of people heading for the fireworks on the National Mall will be encouraged to use Metro systems to get there.

The card will cost $14 and it will be good for unlimited rides on Metrorail on July 4. But Richard Sarles, Metro's general manager, says this card will not be valid on MetroBus, unlike the inauguration one.

"Order your Independence SmartTrip card ahead of time and you will get it in the mail," he says. "You won't have to pay that extra buck a trip."

Riders using paper fare cards are charged an extra dollar per trip. The commemorative cards not only reduce the fare for each trip, but they also speed up trips and prevent long lines at fare machines that are common during large events.

Many tourists will buy it and use it just once or twice on July 4, which will produce additional revenue for Metro. Sarles says after July 4, people can keep the card as a souvenir or reload it like a regular SmartTrip card.

There's no date yet on when the Independence Day SmartTrip cards might be available.

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