Beginning Sept. 1, Metro customers will be able to get a $3 rebate for new SmarTrip card purchases when they register their card online. The cards will still cost $5, but a $3 credit will be refunded to the card five days after first use. SmarTrip online registration also protects a riderâ€™s balance if the card is lost or stolen and allows customers to add value to the card via the Web.
Also beginning Sept. 1, riders will need a minimum of $1.20 on a SmarTrip card to enter the Metrorail system. For riders using a senior/disabled SmarTrip card, the minimum will be 35 cents. The change makes SmarTrip consistent with paper fare cards, which have a minimum fare requirement for entry into the rail system.
Additional changes to SmarTrip starting Sept. 1 include:
- SmarTrip card vending machines will be available in all Metrorail stations to make it easier and more convenient for riders to purchase the cards. The machines are already in 47 stations.
- The Metrorail Fast Pass, which provides seven days of unlimited Metrorail travel, will be available only on SmarTrip and can be purchased online or at station vending machines. Paper Fast Pass cards will no longer be sold after Aug. 31, and will be accepted only through Dec. 31.
Metro introduced SmarTrip cards in 1996 and has encouraged riders to take advantage of the plastic, rechargeable fare card that offers lower Metrobus and Metrorail fares. Bus riders save 20-cents per ride, get free bus-to-bus transfers and a 50-cent discount if transferring to rail when using SmarTrip. Metrorail riders avoid the $1 surcharge on paper fare cards by using SmarTrip and receive the 50-cent discount when transferring from rail to bus.
More information about SmarTrip is available here.