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Glitch: Metro Machine Didn't Give Full Benefit

SmarTrip riders out there might want to check the balance on their Smart cards when downloading their transit benefits. I hope that what happened to me doesn't happen to you. As a result of changes in federal law, I had upped my monthly benefit to $230, to be taken as a pre-tax payroll deduction. At our company, the new amounts were ready to be downloaded beginning May 1.

But Friday, when I was already in the negative on my Smart card, I was able to load only $200 on to my card instead of the full $230. I checked with the SmarTrip call center to see what happened. They said the remaining $30 was still available, but they too were scratching their heads to figure out why the full amount did not get loaded on to my card.
Apparently, it's a glitch that happens sometimes, "but we don't know why," the representative said.

Metro's Lorraine Taylor, who handles SmarTrip matters, says other card holders have been able to load more than $200 on their card during a single transaction. She said Metro would be investigating what happened in my case. My remaining $30 is available for me to load on to the card before the last day of the benefit month (May 31). Otherwise, it will get returned to my employer as a credit, she said.
-- Lena H. Sun

Metro Resources:  Riding the System  |  Trip Planner   |   Map  |  Post Coverage

By Robert Thomson  |  May 6, 2009; 7:06 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Way to go, METRO! After spending millions of dollars on Big X teams to improve your systems, they still aren't right. Time to ask for a refund from the contractor.

Posted by: bigolpoofter | May 6, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

The SmarTrip system isn't perfect. In my case, though immaterial, it undercharged me $0.20 during my Feb 20 commute and $0.40 during my Mar 13 commute. Until online availability of our SmarTrip transit trips is available, I especially keep daily tabs of my SmarTrip activity when used. Since I was overcharged back in 2008 and before on more than one of those Code Red days when Metrobus/WMATA had not gotten the word early in the AM, I figure this is at least a small reimbursement for that.

Posted by: commute201 | May 6, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

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