Plan to make SmarTrip card one of many options

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Metro was considering a plan to “phase out” the SmarTrip card. The plan Metro is considering would allow riders to use a smartphone or credit card to board trains in addition to the SmarTrip card.

Nick Iannelli,

WASHINGTON – Plans are moving forward that would make hopping on a Metro train easier for riders around D.C.

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles, who spoke at a transportation forum on Tuesday at George Washington University, says the system must constantly adapt and expand to meet the needs of a growing population with new technology.

“What we’re looking at is expanding the capacity of the core of the system,” he says.

Sarles is hoping all trains will be equipped with eight cars in the coming years.

He is also pushing for a plan that would make the Metro SmarTrip card one of many payment options.

“The key thing is you would no longer have to stop at a fare vending machine,” Sarles says. “You would have the convenience of just using whatever is in your pocket to pay your fare.”

Under the plan, riders could use their smartphone or a credit card to immediately pay for their commute.

According to Sarles, Metro is searching for vendors that would implement the proposal.

“Hopefully in the next few months we’ll be able to announce a pilot program.”

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