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SmartBenefits dispensers broken

Farecard machines used to add value to SmartTrip cards in Metrorail stations didn't allow riders to add employer SmartBenefits Wednesday morning, and Metro officials are trying to fix the problem before the afternoon rush, a Metro spokesman said.

The outage occured on the first day of the month, when many riders expect to pick up their fares for the next 30 days.

"It's a technical issue that we're trying to find the source of," said Metro spokesman Reggie Woodruff. The machines only allowed SmartTrip users to add cash still allowed users to add fare using cash or credit cards.

Reader S. Smith wrote Dr. Gridlock to say that at Grosvenor, small, handwritten signs were taped to the fare machines telling users to try again later. "At Farragut North, the station manager saw me attempting to add benefits and told me to try after the morning rush hour ended," he wrote.

His wife had to add cash, even though she had benefits from her employer awaiting. Smith noted that many riders who rely on SmartBenefits don't carry cash, and worried some wouldn't be able to ride.

-- Katherine Shaver

By Luke Rosiak  | September 1, 2010; 10:42 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories, Metro  | Tags:  smartbenefits, smarttrip  
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Next: SmarTrip exit change delayed till Oct.

Comments

Nice, Metro won't let you go negative or add funds to avoid going negative.

Fire them all.

Posted by: jiji1 | September 1, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

My wife's company just recently started issuing employees some sort of special pre-paid card instead of using SmartBenefits, presumably because they can use the same system in DC, New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia instead of using a separate system in each city. She was complaining about it late last week because she said the fare machine wouldn't accept the new card to let her add value to her SmarTrip card.

Posted by: 1995hoo | September 1, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Metro needs to be overhauled in every department. How about a monthly pass for commuters? Or a flat fee for riding, not this distance = value system they have now.

Currently I spent $9 round trip and $4.75 to park. For that kind of money I expect better service.

Posted by: bwilsonalso | September 1, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

unconscionable!

What happened to the e alerts... there was absolutely no communication, paper signs nothing.. other than the station manager simply mentioning (if asked) that the system is down....

If i could've gone negative, i wouldn't have tried to update my card this morning LOL...

I added funds to my card, and paid, while others got a free ride... I actually noticed that i pay upto $9 rount trip plus $4.25 for parking; couples with my wife, we pay $25 a day for this shoddy system...

I am seriously mulling over getting parking downtown!

Posted by: joebananas1 | September 1, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Strange - I added my SmartBenefits to my SmartTrip card at the Pentagon station this morning at about 7:30AM. No trouble at all, except for a couple of people in front of me in line. I think several did the same thing, and had no problem.

Posted by: jcflack1 | September 1, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I added mine fine this morning at Dupont around 10:15 a.m.

Posted by: danpeake | September 1, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Riders who rely on SmartBenefits don't carry cash? What about credit cards? For your morning commute, you completely rid yourself of money?

Posted by: trossc | September 1, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I added my SmartBenefits at 9:15 at Silver Spring with no problem.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | September 1, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Why didn't Metro post this on their site?
Anywho,it looks like SmartBenefits are working again. I just got mine from MacPherson Square. I tried this morning at Metro Center but it wasn't working then.

Posted by: luvdc808 | September 1, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

This is a f*king setup -- and all to the of benefit Metro. How ironic that SmartBenefits would malfunction at the 1st of the month, when riders have depleted their smartcard benefits, only to be forced to spend their hard earned money!

Metro = Organized Crime.

Posted by: Insert_Name_Here | September 1, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I tried to add value from Smartbenefits at about 6:40 this evening at Columbia Heights. I tried to machines, and both gave a "transaction cancelled" when I tried to add value from Smartbenefits.

Did others have trouble during the evening rush as well?

Posted by: matt731 | September 1, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

I tried to add value from Smartbenefits at about 6:40 this evening at Columbia Heights. I tried to machines, and both gave a "transaction cancelled" when I tried to add value from Smartbenefits.

Did others have trouble during the evening rush as well?

Posted by: matt731 | September 1, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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