Metro phasing out older SmarTrip cards as part of upgrades to fare payment

It is time to check the numbers on the back of your old, trusty SmarTrip card. Metro is phasing out older cards as part of upgrades to fare gates and fare payment technology.

The new fare gates, fare boxes and payment option that Metro will begin to install won’t be compatible with the old cards, and the transit agency is asking customers to replace their old SmarTrip cards to avoid disruption later on.

How to tell if you need to replace your card? Check the serial number on the back. All newer SmarTrip cards start with the serial number “0167,” any others will need to be replaced.

metro
(Courtesy WMATA)

There are several ways to get your card or virtual SmarTrip card on a mobile phone replaced, including mail-in, online, phone or in person.

Those enrolled in SmartBenefits are currently unable to transfer balances to a new card online and will be notified at a later date.

Log in to your SmarTrip account to make sure your contact information is up-to-date.

The first-generation SmarTrip cards will be phased out by station, as new fare gates are installed. The first stations are scheduled to begin installation no earlier than June, with all stations completed over the following year.

New bus fare boxes are scheduled to be installed next year, Metro said in a news release.

As many as 400,000 of the old cards were in active use before the coronavirus pandemic. Six million SmarTrip cards were in active circulation at the time.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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