Metro Phasing Out Paper Farcards, Enticing SmarTrip Card Stragglers To Get On Board

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A man talks on a phone while riding Metro. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A man talks on a phone while riding Metro. (credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Metro is encouraging customers to switch from using paper farecards to plastic ones.

Starting on Monday, Metro is encouraging customers to switch by allowing travelers to transfer up to $20 from a paper farecard to a plastic SmarTrip card. Previously, the maximum transfer was $7. Metro says 90 percent of bus riders and more than 80 percent of train riders currently use SmarTrip cards.

Beginning July 1, customers that use paper farecards will be charged an additional $1 per trip. SmarTrip cards cost $5, but Metro says it plans to offer customers who purchase new cards a $3 rebate when they register the card online. SmarTrip cards were first introduced in 1996.

SmarTrip cards can also be purchased in advance at CVS and Giant Food stores.

Metro plans to install SmarTrip card vending machines in all rail stations by September.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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