is a plastic contact-less stored-value smart card
used for payment within the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
(WMATA) system in Washington, D.C.
Unlike traditional paper farecards, SmarTrip is designed to be permanent and reloadable, and as of 2004 can be used in all Metrorail
stations and on all Metrobuses
. SmarTrip is the primary way to pay for parking fees at Metro-operated lots. SmarTrip can also be used on nearly all other local public transit systems in the Washington Metropolitan Area
. In October 2010 WMATA announced that it was working on a replacement system.
Metrorail began using SmarTrip cards in 1999, with use spreading later to Metrobus and Metro parking lots. The cards have been adopted by a number of other local transit systems, and there is reciprocity with the CharmCard system
used in Baltimore
. Although SmarTrip drew criticism for a limited number of sales locations, in recent years distribution expanded to local drug stores
. In addition to the basic designs, SmarTrip cards have commemorative designs as well as special-purpose designs, such as DC public school student photo-identification cards and cards for senior citizens
entitled to discounted fares.
SmarTrip cards are , roughly the same size as a credit card
or driver's license. The card is touched to a circular target on the top or side of each exit gate rather than inserted into a slot, affording some... Read More