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Donating Metro Farecards

Several people wrote in after seeing my Sunday column in which I mentioned that Metro is considering a plan to collect low-value Farecards for donation to charities. Readers said they knew of some local charities that collect the cards. If you are aware of any others, send a note to me at and I'll wrap them into a list in an upcoming column.

Dear Dr. Gridlock:
Isn't there an organization that collects these cards for veterans who need to find jobs? It seems that the Post carried an article on this sometime last fall.
Rita Lombard

Good memory. On Nov. 22 last year, Metro columnist John Kelly wrote about Dave Mortlock of Arlington, a former Marine who helps fellow veterans get to job interviews and training courses by collecting donated Farecards and putting their value onto SmarTrip cards. He gives them to Ignatia House, a veterans assistance center in Northwest Washington.

Mortlock set up some collection boxes at hotels on the theory that tourists often have low-value Farecards they no longer need at the end of their stays here. Kelly gave Mortlock's e-mail address,, so readers could get a list of the places that have his collection boxes. Mortlock's organization, FareShare, also has a Web site where you can read more about the effort and find a list of the 30 dropoff locations in Washington, Arlington and Alexandria.

Dear Dr. Gridlock:
I work at Green Door in Washington , D.C. , a non-profit that helps persons with mental illness work and live in the community. Our folks use a lot of public transportation going to work and school and doctors' appointments. For several years we have been requesting "used" fare cards from folks all over the Metro area. They send us leftover cards with just a few cents on them, we bundle them, and the folks at Metro turn them into larger-value Metro cards for us.

Over the past couple of years we have been able to provide several thousand dollars worth of public transportation to the people we serve. But with Metro pushing all of us to go to plastic farecards, I anticipate, unfortunately, that there will be fewer and fewer paper Metro cards to be donated.

Maureen Jais-Mick
Green Door

Charitable groups also collect bus tokens as well as Farecards. Here's a letter I got from a reader last fall:

Dear Dr. Gridlock:
Another use, especially for those who no longer need the tokens, is to donate them to an organization. The Community Council for the Homeless at Friendship Place has a great need for bus tokens.

Clients use tokens to get to medical appointments, job training, etc. I'm sure similar organizations would also welcome donations of bus tokens. Contact Ms. Katie Wood, manager of homeless services at Friendship Place, for more information at 202-364-1419.

Susan Tersoff

By Robert Thomson  |  April 30, 2007; 8:10 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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