Catoe comments on SmartBenefit changes
Metro General Manager John B. Catoe just finished his noontime chat on Metro's Web site, and it included this interesting comment about the planned changes in the SmartBenefits program. Catoe says he's heard plenty of rider questions about the changes, and "we need to rethink the changes that we are making."
Arlington, VA: Good afternoon - I have a question regarding the upcoming changes to SmartBenefits. Do we know yet what will happen to the current balances on our SmarTrip cards? For instance, if I have a $100 balance on the card beginning Jan 1, what "purse" will that money go into?Thank you!
Reply [from Catoe]: Hi Arlington. I see a few questions about SmartBenefits here in the queue. Over the past couple of weeks, we have heard a lot of comments from customers about this change in SmartBenefits. I've decided that we need to rethink the changes that we are making. At this point I do not have any new details to share. I hope to be able to provide more detail about the program in the coming weeks that will be able to clarify these sorts of questions. Rest assured, I have heard what people have to say and your comments will be taken into account as we develop the plan moving forward.
David Alpert, who writes the Greater Greater Washington blog, had an interesting take on the changes scheduled to take effect in January. Read his full posting here, but this is how he starts:
"Metro will put a band-aid on the problem of SmartBenefits going back to the employer at the end of the month by letting employers opt out of the new SmartBenefits arrangement and stick with the current system."
We've invited SmarTrip Director Cyndi Zieman to come on my chat at noon Monday to answer your questions about the changes in SmartBenefits. This link will allow you to submit a question or comment on SmartBenefits or any other transportation topic.
November 6, 2009; 1:10 PM ET
Categories: Metro | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, SmarTrip, SmartBenefits
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