Commuter Choice and Metro Fare Gates Update


Dear Commuter Choice Participant,

You are receiving this email because you are currently receiving Commuter Choice benefits and have an older SmarTrip card that will be impacted by WMATA’s new fare gates.  Many of you, although not all, are vanpool participants.  If you are in a vanpool you do not need to replace your SmarTrip card but please see the highlighted guidance below from WMATA.  For everyone else, the WMATA guidance below will guide you on how to replace your card and transfer any balance you have from the old card to the new one.  At the link provided below, they also have an FAQ.

If you have questions, WMATA’s Customer Service number is 888-762-7874.

Kind regards,

Your colleagues in Parking and Transportation


First-generation SmarTrip cards – cards purchased before 2012 – will not work on new fare gates being installed over the next 12-months starting in late July 2021. SmartBenefits participants can now use Metro’s online, self-service balance transfer process to replace their cards if they’ve used their card within 7-days of their request. Limiting the process to active card users increases the odds that the card will be tapped again before the balance transfer expires 30-days later.

SmartBenefits participants cannot use the mail-in card replacement process. The equipment used by the team processing mailed-in cards cannot transfer SmartBenefits from the old to new card. Only the self-service process can transfer everything from the old to new card.

  • Encourage participantswith first-generation cards who are not actively using their cards to login to update their email address by logging in to their SmarTrip account. We need accurate email addresses to provide participants with notifications and updates.
  • Participants that have first-generation cards and allocate 100% of their benefits for use on vanpools, VRE, MARC, or MTA Commuter Bus will not be required to replace their old cards.However, we recommend that they replace their cards in case they ever need to ride Metro.