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More People Buying SmarTrip Cards

The transit authority says that it has noticed a spike in sales of the electronic fare cards during the past week as riders anticipate the end of the paper bus transfers on Sunday.

The only way to get free bus to bus transfers or discounts on bus to rail or rail to bus transfers will be to use the SmarTrip cards.

So Metro says that to meet this increased demand for cards, it will make adjustments at two of its busiest sales offices in the District. They are the ones at Metro headquarters, 600 Fifth Street NW and at Metro Center, near the entrance at 12th and F streets NW.

The Metro headquarters sales office will stay open two extra hours until 5 p.m. today. (It opens at 10 a.m.) And more staffers will be on duty to speed up sales.

Next Monday through Friday, tables exclusively for card sales will be set up at Metro headquarters and Metro Center. The extra sales table at Metro headquarters will be open from noon to 3 p.m. At Metro Center, the table will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can also buy the cards on Metro's Web site. Here's the link. On this page, you'll find a list of all the places to buy the cards. That includes some bus garages, vending machines at rail stations that have Metro parking, regional commuter stores, some Giant supermarkets and 190 CVS stores.

People 65 and older will want to get a Senior SmarTrip card so they won't wind up paying more than they should once the paper transfers are gone. But opportunities for seniors to buy the cards are more restricted than for the regular cards. (Because seniors have to show proof of age and have the cards registered by Metro personnel.)

They can do this at the Metro sales offices, commuter stores and some public libraries in the Prince George's and Montgomery counties. Use the link above to find those locations.

This is inconvenient for many seniors who will have to go a long way to buy the $5 cards. I'll talk more about that on the Post's Commuter page this Sunday.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 2, 2009; 6:51 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Too bad we still have no way to exchange a dead "smart"card. You can take a bad paper farecard to the Metro Center office and get a new one then and there.

When you have a plastic one; you get turned away & told "too bad"...

So dead paper card; get a on-the-spot replacement; dead $5 plastic one, throw it away and buy a new one. What an improvement!

Posted by: JJ_pi | January 2, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

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