>Upcoming WMATA story possibilities


WMATA’s press office has told me that I should have my requested interview with the Smartrip manager this week, so if you have any questions please post them in the comments.  Right now I’m going to be concentrating on upgrades to the system in the future, such as the “walking transfer” option being discussed for the Farragut stations, as well as my favorite topic, allowing the smartcards to be used as Metrorail or Metrobus passes.  Other topics will be automatic replenishment with credit card accounts, online payments, etc.
I have also been told by WMATA’s public access to records administrator that my question regarding Google Transit should be answered this coming week.

About perkinsms

I'm an engineer and father interested in transit, parking and economics.
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10 Responses to >Upcoming WMATA story possibilities

  1. Anonymous says:

    >Can you ask about being able to add value to SmarTrip cards via the Internet? This was supposedly coming for years but still hasn’t been implemented yet.

  2. Michael says:

    >Will do. From my previous conversations with WMATA Smartrip marketing, this is on the table. Also, being able to add value via kiosks at Giant grocery stores.

  3. Alan says:

    >How about the bus-to-rail transfer we’ve been promised ever since all the buses got SmarTrip capability?

  4. Anonymous says:

    >1) what’s the timeline (if there is any) for being able to buy 1-day and 7-day passes to put on a Smarttrip card? And will we ever have a way to add the monthly passes for the Georgetown Metro Connector (the “blue bus”) or the Circulator?2) Right now, if you lose your card or have it stolen, you have to provide the serial number to get the stored value back. Could there be a way to use other information (name, address, credit card used to charge it) to get a refund?

  5. Johanna says:

    >What about something like the London system, which will effectively award you a day pass after the fact: If you take a lot of trips in a single day, it stops charging you when you hit the cost of a day pass.Does that count as a change to the fare structure, since people would be charged less than they are now? Or not, since it just makes it easier to take advantage of an option that already exists? And is it something that WMATA could implement?

  6. Michael says:

    >I’ll answer the questions that I know the answers to:Alan, bus-to-rail transfers are a board policy, so I don’t think the staff member I’m interviewing will be able to speak much about it. I’ll ask, though.Anonymous #2: I’m definitely going to be asking about this question. I didn’t know about the Georgetown Metro Connector pass, or the circulator. I’ll ask about them.Johanna: I’ve seen that, and it was mentioned in WMATA documents back around 2001, it was called “Fair Fare” and worked to cap the expenditure at various fare levels. It would be considered a change in the fare structure, I think, but I can ask. Frankly, I don’t see what’s in it for WMATA. It’s almost a pure revenue loss for them, with only the marginal benefit of additional ridership, but without the commitment of knowing they have your money in advance. At least with a weekly pass, there’s the chance that you may not ride enough to make up your money.All of these questions will be presented to my interviewee if there is enough time.Thanks to all for your questions. I’ll keep you posted.

  7. Michael says:

    >Oh, and Anonymous #2: If your card is registered, your name and contact information is all they need. I’ve gotten Smartrip cards replaced without knowing the serial number. Call 1-888-SMARTRI(p). You will need to know your PIN which was established when you registered the card.

  8. Johanna says:

    >Re “Fair fares”: That’s kind of what I thought, but I was just wondering.I can think of a couple of possible advantages for WMATA, though. If fare-capping is only offered to people with SmarTrip cards, that increases the incentive to get a SmarTrip card. And if you can get the advantages of a day pass without actually buying one from a fare card machine, that means less crowding at the fare card machines in the mornings, which makes things nicer for everybody, which could mean increased ridership. (Where I live, in College Park, there is often a problem with huge crowds at the machines on weekend mornings. Most of them are novice Metro riders, I think, so they’re not using SmarTrip cards and wouldn’t be affected by advantages offered to SmarTrip users, but they would be affected by me not being in their way.)I don’t know if either of those is enough to offset the cost to them, though.

  9. Michael says:

    >WMATA answered a lot of the Smartrip questions. I put the answers I got up in a new post.

  10. Anonymous says:

    >how do I transfer my old smart trip card that broke to my new smart trip card?

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