Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.
“Beginning January 8, Metro’s fare system will no longer allow customers to carry a negative balance on a SmarTrip card for Metrobus and Metrorail.
Previously, customers would be permitted to complete certain trips even though there were insufficient funds on the SmarTrip® card to pay the appropriate fare. For example, a customer with $3 on their card who takes a rail trip valued at $3.25 would be permitted to exit the rail system leaving a negative $0.25 balance on the card.
While most customers eventually load additional value to the SmarTrip card to resolve the negative balance, over the past 17 years, unresolved negative balances have added up to be worth about $25 million dollars.”