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Washington Metro to accept mobile payments from 2019

Metro announced that it is working with its fare payment vendor to become “mobile ready” by next year, enabling customers to pay for their Metro trip using a mobile device rather than a SmarTrip card.

As part Metro’s initiative to upgrade its fare collection system, Metro is also developing a new fare payment app that will allow customers a quick and easy way to pay and manage their SmarTrip account from anywhere.

The new mobile fare payment platform will work with Metro’s existing infrastructure, eventually allowing customers to tap their mobile device to the white target at the faregate. The payment process is designed to be seamless and will have a similar experience to tapping a SmarTrip card today. Using the app, customers will be able to check fares, get real-time service information, and add money to their SmarTrip account instantly through Auto-Reload when the value is low.

During the second phase of the project to be completed by 2020, Metro will install new faregates at more than 900 entry/exit lanes at all 91 stations. The current faregates are more than 25 years old, using original power and communications systems. The new faregate design will be selected based on a number of factors, including customer input, speed, reliability, and ability to prevent fare evasion. In addition, new fareboxes will be installed on buses to replace the existing 15-year old equipment.

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