Reduced Price SmarTrip Cards Easy to Scam

The plan to slash prices for riders may be put on hold

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    NEWSLETTERS

    nbcwashington.com

    Metro's plan to cut the price of SmarTrip cards in half to boost ridership may have hit a snag.

    Officials worry riders will scam the system, cheating Metro out of millions, The Washington Post reported. That’s because the cards let customers exit stations with a negative balance. If riders bought a card for $2.50 instead of $5, they could use it for a trip that costs more and ditch the card. 

    Rail trips can cost as much as $5.20. Bus trips can run as high as $6. Metro officials are estimating the lost of revenue from customers “gaming the system” could push $1 million every month.
     
    The potential problems don’t end there. The manufacturer of SmarTrip cards is halting production and Metro only has a two-year supply.
     
    Metro’s Board of Directors asked staffers to come up with solutions Thursday before moving forward with cost reductions.