After months of delay, every Metrorail station is now equipped with vending machines for SmarTrip cards.

According to a June press release from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, vending machines were supposed to be installed in all stations by September. However, WMATA decided to delay the installation after disability advocates complained about a lack of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The newest machines, which cost $12,000 each, are universally accessible because of features that allow both sight- and hearing-impaired Metro riders to use them.

Though older machines without such features remain in some stations, they will be replaced in 2013.

Previously, public transit users had to purchase SmarTrip cards at vendors such as CVS and Safeway or order them online.

The installation of the machines is the latest of many steps in WMATA’s plan to replace all paper fare cards with SmarTrip cards. Eighty-four percent of Metrorail users and 90 percent of Metrobus users now use a SmarTrip card, according to The Washington Post.

The change comes after WMATA began charging an additional dollar on top of the normal Metro fares for paper fare cards this July. In comparison, SmarTrip cards can be purchased for $5 and allow access to all of D.C.’s public transportation systems in addition to several regional bus services, such as Fairfax Connector and Loudoun County Transit.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*