Charity collects Metro cards from inauguration, women’s march attendees

WASHINGTON — Throngs of people were in town for the inauguration of Donald J. Trump Friday and the Women’s March on Washington Saturday, and a lot of them bought Metro cards.

Metro estimates nearly 2 million passenger trips between both days, with most of those trips taken using Metrorail.

So what about the SmarTrip cards out-of-towners no longer need?

Martha’s Table is collecting them.

“It’s looking like we’ll be able to distribute them to folks who come in for our no-cost clothing programs and our no-cost food programs,” Ryan Palmer, spokeswoman for Martha’s Table, said. “A lot of people come in for job-interview clothing or just other supports that they may need; and there are plenty of people who rely on public transportation for whom I’m assuming this will be a great help.”

The organization got the idea a few days before inauguration from a supporter who donates to its thrift store, and thus did not have much time to spread the word.

Palmer said they have received a handful of cards so far, but there’s plenty of interest.

“A lot of people have called asking for our mailing address. So I’m assuming we’ll get a few more in the mail this week,” he said.

At this point, there are no collection bins in other parts of the city. “We don’t have anything in the works just yet, but it’s definitely an idea we’re exploring,” Palmer said.

Since this specific effort is brand new for the organization, there’s no word if Martha’s Table will continue gathering leftover SmarTrip cards throughout the year.

“We like to develop our programming based on the needs of our community, depending on the kind of response that we get from people who are accessing our services,” Palmer said. “If this is something that’s going to be useful to them year round, absolutely, we will continue to do this.”

Donate leftover SmarTrip cards to Martha’s Table in person or by mail:

Martha’s Table
2114 14th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that Ryan Palmer is the spokeswoman for Martha’s Table.

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