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Cost of SmarTrip cards going down to $2

Thursday - 7/25/2013, 1:11pm  ET

WASHINGTON - SmarTrip cards will go down in price to $2 in October.

"The new lower price makes the cost of buying a SmarTrip card equivalent to the $2 surcharge paid by anyone who takes a roundtrip using a paper farecard," said Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles, in a Metro news release.

"We are transitioning away from paper farecards as we prepare to introduce a new fare system," he said.

Currently, SmarTrip cards cost $5, but riders who register the cards online get a $3 discount. Metro will discontinue the rebate program Oct. 1 when the $2 price change takes effect,

When the change takes effect, Metro riders can buy the $2 cards at any Metro sales office or commuter store.

At Metrorail stations and participating CVS stores, the card in October will cost $10 but will come with $8 in fare value loaded on it.

Now, cards bought at station dispensers cost $10 and come preloaded with $5 in fare values.

Sarles said Metro later this year will award a contract for a new fare payment system that - in addition to SmarTrip - will let riders pay for trips using their mobile phones or by credit card or debit card at the fare gate.

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