Metro debates SmarTrip cost
The finance committee of Metro's board of directors today postponed a plan to reduce the price of SmarTrip cards from $5, describing the plan as flawed.
The panel again asked Metro staff to provide more detail on various options for reducing the card price, but several members indicated they would prefer to drop the plan and maintain the status quo.
In heated discussion, board members and staff weighed a desire to cut the card price to save riders money with the possibility that some passengers would exploit the lower price to "game" the system for discount rides.
One proposal would cut the card price to $2.50 on Dec. 19 but require riders to purchase at least $2.50 of stored value on the card. But several board members voiced concerns that would not eliminate the potential problem of users cheating the system.
Metro staff members are concerned that some riders would take advantage of the cheaper SmarTrip cards, which allow customers to exit the system once with a negative balance. Customers could buy cards for $2.50 and use them for more expensive trips.
Metro board of directors agreed this summer to cut the price of the electronic fare cards when members enacted the most expansive fare hike in the system's history to help close a $190 million budget deficit.
-- Ann Scott Tyson
From the Post's archives:
Obstacles embedded in SmarTrip plan
| October 14, 2010; 10:12 AM ET
Categories: Ann Scott Tyson, Metro, MetroAccess, Metrobus
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