Be One of 3000 Riders to Test Metro’s “new payment methods, such as contactless credit cards and mobile phones”

Photo by PoPville flickr user ep_jhu


“Metro is inviting riders to help test its next-generation fare payment system using new payment methods, such as contactless credit cards and mobile phones.

Today, Metro began the process of recruiting up to 3,000 riders to participate in the pilot program, which will begin in January and last about three months. Riders selected to test the new electronic payment system (NEPP) will use transit cards, contactless bankcards or mobile wallets on their smartphones to ride Metrorail or Metrobus, and to pay for parking at selected locations.

Pilot participants will use new-generation faregates that will be installed at 10 Metrorail stations and new payment devices on six bus routes. Those customers who regularly travel between the following locations may be eligible to participate:

Ballston, Bethesda, Eisenhower Ave, Farragut West, Gallery Place, Navy Yard, Pentagon, Pentagon City, Shady Grove, Suitland

37, 39, J4, K9, X9, REX

Metrorail Parking
Shady Grove, Suitland

Riders can get more information and sign up to participate in the pilot by visiting

If the pilot is successful, Metro plans to replace the now decades-old faregates and vending machines at Metrorail stations, and provide new payment options aboard buses and at parking facilities.”

6 Comment

  • About time! Glad to see metro finally getting into the 21st century.
    Hopefully this will also help NFC payments catch on elsewhere. So convenient to just pull out the phone and tap it instead of carrying around yet another card that stops working after 6 months because my wallet puts an ever so slight bend in it.

    • As someone who is not glued to my phone, and who would much rather wave around a dedicated fare card than an expensive phone or my personal credit card, I sure hope that the next generation fare payment system also includes a fare card option — if only to reduce security risks. That being said, I think it’s great that payment options are being increased.

      • Agreed. They definitely won’t get rid of cards. Shouldn’t be too tough to read both phones and cards since tons of businesses already do it. I’ve had both contactless credit cards and used Google Wallet to tap-and-pay, both very easy to use. NFC is basically a powered, more advanced RFID, which metro is currently using.

  • Could eye ball retina recognition be next as the method to payment….Or thumb or handprint entry into the trains be the next move….as the rise in Microsoft stock profits continues

  • I put my phone next to my face. I would not want to put it up to a metro turnstile as well.

    • The NFC sensor is in the back of the phone, so you’d touch the back to the turnstile. Guessing you have an iphone…

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