Monday, February 13, 2006

Smart Cards for Public Transportation

While looking at credit cards, I came upon Citibank's SmarTrip Mastercard -- a Metro farecard and credit card in one. The Metro (in the D.C. metropolitan area) released the SmarTrip farecard a few years ago, and I definitely prefer them over the plastic farecards one usually buys. For one, the SmarTrip card, which is made of heavy, stiff plastic, is more durable. The card gets you through the turnstile more quickly, no swiping over and over again while a line of impatient passengers builds up behind you. You can also add value to it online, as the card is registered to your information. Though that might present privacy concerns (future episode of Law and Order?).

Apparently New York City's MTA will begin experimenting with smart farecards in the spring. Newsday reports that these farecards will be credit cards or key-chain tags.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found you via NYC Blogger. Lots of us near that Prospect Ave station.

Actually, DC farecards are paper card-stock, unless they've changed since I was down there last December.

Plastic of any kind would be a welcome change, after looking at the state of my DC Metro farecards in my wallet!


12:54 PM  
Blogger mlliu said...

Should have clarified that the Metro farecards one normally gets are paper card stock. The SmarTrip farecards, however, are plastic. I believe the SmarTrip cards can be registered and treated as an account online.

Go Prospect Ave N/R! (Love dodging traffic at that intersection, especially the semis that run the red light.)

1:04 AM  

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