Monday, June 21, 2004

COMMUTING: SmarTrip Troubles

In the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's SmarTrip bus conversion, I have come across some bugs that need to be worked out. Sunday morning, on my way to brunch, I boarded a 90 bus at Wisconsin Avenue and Newark Street when the SmarTrip reader only registered a 70 cent charge, instead of $1.20. The bus driver found that perplexing, and had no idea what had gone wrong. The driver waived me through. Mind you, this trouble emerges before the introduction of universal bus-to-subway, subway-to-bus automatic transfers via SmarTrip. Could this signal that more SmarTrip troubles are on the horizon?

Also, you may notice a jarring, unearthly buzzing noise coming from bus fare collectors. That is the sound of people inserting pennies as bus fare, which are now automatically rejected.

More information:
SmarTrip conversion backgrounder [WMATA]


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