Metro is slightly overstating their case

Ben just told us about the paper transfer transition that’s coming, and while I agree that it’s overall a good move, it’s worth looking at the supposed availability of Smartrip cards for non-rail users. The press release makes availability look pretty extensive.

SmarTrip® cards can be purchased on Metro’s Web site by mail, and at 85 Metro sales offices at Metro Center, the Pentagon, Anacostia and Metro headquarters, at the Northern, Western, Landover, Royal Street and Four Mile Run Metrobus divisions, vending machines at Metrorail stations that have parking facilities, regional transit stores and select Giant stores

Unfortunately when I do a spot check of the area’s zip codes, particularly some of the poorer areas or ones with no rail service, it doesn’t look so great. You can get a visual of the area’s zips by going to this site and keying in 20024 to center the map over the metro area. Metro’s retail outlet finder will let you punch in those codes. Let’s give it a try.

20002: 2 outlets, none sell Smartrips.
20018: 1 outlet.
20019: 2 outlets, none sell Smartrips.
20020: 3 outlets, none sell Smartrips.
22304: 1 outlet, no Smartrips.
20745: 4 outlets, 1 sells Smartrips.
20785: 4 outlets, 1 sells Smartrips.

That’s about as much interest as I have in spot-checking WMATA but frankly I’m unimpressed. WMATA needs to do the right thing by the people who will be hardest hit by this and allow people to buy them from their bus driver.

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.


One thought on “Metro is slightly overstating their case

  1. Well, “supposedly” (and I use quotes because I still take Metro good news with a grain of salt) they’re going to be installing / increasing the actual retail outlets for ST purchases. What that exactly means to WMATA may actually be different than what we expect. But then again, it’s Metro – and we’re not surprised.