Metro is developing technology that will allow riders to scan their credit cards at the transit gate to pay their fares, Peter Benjamin, the new chairman of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, told WTOP, a D.C. radio station, on Jan. 24. The new feature will be available in 12 to 18 months, according to Benjamin.

This would permit riders to skip the step of adding fare money to their SmarTrip or other fare card as well as avoid long lines. Benjamin also said that SmarTrip cards will be able to draw fare money directly from riders’ credit card accounts when they use the Metro.  There is fear that the technology will increase the risk of lost or stolen fare cards and credit cards. Some are concerned that the chances of losing a card are too great and may not be worth eliminating the time it takes to add more fare money to a SmarTrip card, according to the DCist.

aggie Trautman (MSB ’11), a frequent Metro rider, is concerned about the new system.

“I don’t want to have to worry about losing my credit card or credit card-connected SmarTrip card by having it constantly out or loose in my pocket in order to go in and out of the Metro,” she said. “I think the intentions of the [WMATA] are good but I think this will just cause more unnecessary hassles for riders.”

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