Metro begins phasing out older SmarTrip card as part of new fare payment technology upgrades

Metro is phasing out older SmarTrip cards as part of its new fare payment technology upgrades.

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The transit system says it will being using faregates, fareboxes and fare payment options that will make it quicker and easier to pay.

SmarTrip cards use outdated chip technology making them incompatible with the new systems, officials say adding that as many as 400,000 of the outdated cards could still be in use.

The rollout of the new technology is scheduled to begin sometime in June and will continue over the year. Customers will be able to use mail-in, online, phone or in-person options to make the switch and transfer balances to a new or existing SmarTrip card or virtual SmarTrip card on a mobile device.

Metro says the best way to tell if you need to replace your card is to check the serial number on the back. All newer SmarTrip cards begin with the serial number "0167." Officals say any others will need to be replaced.

Officials say that riders who participate in SmartBenefits are currently unable to transfer balances to a new card online and will be notified at a later date. Customers should login to their SmarTrip account to make sure their contact information is up to date.