Metro GM scraps plan for new fare technology

The Metro General Manager and CEO announced Thursday that they have canceled their plans for a new electronic fare system.

After testing the new electronic pay system, WMATA opted to keep the current system in place.

In a news release the Metro General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld released the following statement:

"For several months, Metro has been evaluating the use of new fare-payment technologies for rail and bus systems, as well as regional transportation providers. The arrangement was structured to have a pilot phase, after which we would step back, look at lessons learned, and determine the best course for riders, the Authority and the region as a whole. Today, with the pilot concluded, I advised the Board of Directors that I have determined this is not the right time to proceed with a large-scale fare technology change."

The statement continues to say, "Our customers need the gates and ticket machines to work reliably, and that's our focus now. I don't want them to have to swap out one card for another, have limited access to just use certain gates during the transition in already crowded stations, or make the jurisdictions convert to all new technology for their buses."

Millions of dollars have already been spent by Metro to test the new fare system.