Washington, DC’s Metro preps new “mobile-ready” transit system

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, commonly referred to as Metro, is working with its fare payment vendor to become “mobile ready” by next year, enabling customers to pay for a Metro trip using a mobile device rather than a SmarTrip card, according to a press release.

As part Metro’s initiative to upgrade its fare collection system, Metro is also developing a new fare payment app that will enable customers a quick and easy way to pay and manage their SmarTrip account from anywhere.

The new mobile fare payment platform will work with Metro’s existing infrastructure, eventually enabling customers to tap their mobile device to the white target at the fare gate. The payment process is designed to be simple and will have a similar experience to tapping a SmarTrip card today. Using the app, customers will be able to check fares, get real-time service information, and add money to their SmarTrip account instantly through and auto-reload feature when the value is low.

Metro expects to complete the mobile fare payment upgrades in 2019, creating a platform that supports multiple mobile payment providers. Because payment in the transit environment must meet certain technical requirements to ensure quick transaction speeds, each mobile provider will announce the ability for customers to pay for Metro trips using their service on their own timetable, according to the release.

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