I didn’t see this announced anywhere else, but over on the WMATA youtube channel there’s a video starring Metro’s Chief Financial Officer, Carol Kissal, and Ed Moy, the Director of the US Mint announcing that Metro fare vending machines will be accepting $1 coins as well as giving them as change. So instead of getting 12 quarters back as change from a $7 purchase on a $10 bill, you’ll get three coins. I thought WMATA had been accepting $1 coins for a long time, but giving them out is new as of December.
WMATA and the Mint tout the convenience for riders as well as the savings to the Government. According to the video, the $1 coins last for decades and are 100% recyclable. Mr. Moy put the savings from using $1 coins as “billions” of dollars. He also said that Boston and New York were giving $1 coins as change in their transit systems.
I’ve always been a fan of dollar coins. I get them at the bank and use them for parking meters and vending machines. Now I’ll have another source for them (though I don’t do many cash transactions at fare machines).
So what’s next for American currency? Go completely Euro-style, get a $2 coin, and eliminate the $1 bill entirely? Retain both the bill and the coin for years longer? Eliminate the penny?