A proposed project to manufacture and distribute GOCards with built-in SmarTrip chips on campus next year may be derailed.

At a meeting between Georgetown and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority officials on Wednesday, Director of GOCard Services Roman Fahrmann said WMATA expressed concern that Cubic Transportation Systems, which provides the cards for all of WMATA’s services, already has the term “GOCard” trademarked. He said the project may be delayed while the university works to resolve the licensing issue.

“They didn’t really have any suggestions other than that it needs to be resolved,” Fahrmann said.

He said Georgetown’s Office of University Counsel is currently looking into the issue.

Fahrmann said he is expecting an update from WMATA in two weeks concerning the progress of the plan.

“I think it can probably be resolved, but I can’t make any guarantees at this point,” he said. “We had a long and fruitful discussion, but there are still a few roadblocks.”

Dick Siskind, of WMATA’s Office of SmarTrip Operations, who attended Wednesday’s meeting, could not be reached for comment.

In addition, although the cost of the new GOCards was initially expected to be $5, if the SmarTrip GOCards are manufactured, Fahrmann said that WMATA plans to increase the price. He said the extra labor required to specially order and activate the cards will necessitate the higher fee. SmarTrip cards cost $5.

Such cards were offered on an experimental basis to Georgetown Law Center students earlier this year, and a limited number were offered to the main campus community last month.

During the meeting, the university and WMATA agreed that if the project is implemented, cardholders would have the option of registering their cards with WMATA so that the value of lost cards can remain intact, Fahrmann said.

“We’re not required to provide the information, but we’re going to give the cardholder the option of doing it themselves, simply by going to [WMATA’s] Web site,” Fahrmann said.

SmarTrip deposits would be managed separately from GOCard transactions, Fahrmann said. SmarTrip cardholders would have to make deposits through WMATA like regular SmarTrip holders, not through the GOCard office.

The SmarTrip cards offered by WMATA are stored-value, replenishable cards that feature a computer chip that records the card’s value. Users touch the card to circular panels on fare gates and boxes on buses and in subway stations to pay their fares.

“The benefit to GOCard holders is that they would not have to carry around two cards,” Fahrmann said.

WMATA and Georgetown already collaborate on the SmartBenefits system for faculty and staff. This program provides pretax, payroll-deducted transportation fares for employees.

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