SmarTrips for sale at local universities, and who cares?

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘Chris Rief aka Spodie Odie’

The latest press release out of WMATA trumpets “Metro is making it easier for area university students to take advantage of SmarTrip® convenience and savings with cards now being sold at the American University campus bookstore.” The buzzkill is in the second sentence, stating that adding value will be possible there “later this year.”

At this point does anyone give a shit? The only SmarTrip vending question I need answered anymore is “why isn’t there a machine vending these next to all the fare machines at every metro stop?” I suppose it’s two questions really, because I still don’t know why the sale of these things is treated like some sort of controlled munition rather than something that could reside next to the Fritos.

How many man hours at WMATA are spent administering and dealing with this oddly tightly controlled SmarTrip sales methodology? You can buy a cellphone more easily than a SmarTrip and you can be sure that Virgin and TracPhone don’t make it as hard for stores to become resellers… despite the phone costing ten times as much.

Well I used to say something in my profile about not quite being a “tinker, tailor, soldier, or spy” but Tom stole that for our about us page, so I guess I’ll have to find another way to express that I am a man of many interests.

Hmm, guess I just did.

My tastes run the gamut from sophomoric to Shakespeare and in my “professional” life I’ve sold things, served beer, written software, and carried heavy objects… sometimes at the same place. It’s that range of loves and activities that makes it so easy for me to love DC – we’ve got it all.


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