Personal Injury Blog

Metro Plans to Stop Allowing Negative Balances on SmarTrip

By: Allan M. Siegel

For years, Metro has allowed its subway riders to have negative balances on SmarTrip cards for one ride. For example, if you have deposited $2.50 on your SmarTrip card and you take a ride that costs $3.50, when you leave the fare gates will open for you, but a negative $1.00 balance will be left on your SmarTrip card, which you must pay the next time you try to enter the Metro subway system.

However, Metro has hit difficult financial times, as it has lost money due to safety disasters, necessary (and long overdue) maintenance, and a resulting fall in the number of riders. Accordingly, beginning on January 8, 2018, Metro will prohibit negative balances. This means that if your card has a negative balance, you will not be able to enter a Metro station with it. Furthermore, if you try to leave through the fare gates and your card has insufficient funds, the gates will not open – you will have to use one of the fare-vending machines at the fare gates. (Unfortunately, those machines do not have credit card readers; if you have no cash, you will have to ask the station manager for permission to temporarily go through the gates to use a fare-vending machine with a credit card reader.)

We at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. hope that whatever the future may bring for Metro, that it becomes a safer carrier for passengers on its buses and subway trains. And we wish you safe travel this holiday season.