The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (DC) is moving toward an open fare payment system, enabling customers to pay fares with their cell phones, credit cards, and even federal IDs. The Washington Examiner reports that an open system would cost $60 million to implement but save the agency $33.8 million a year after 10 years. According to the Examiner, seven companies submitted initial proposals and WMATA will seek additional information from bidders later this month.
So excited to see this as a frequent metro rider. Getting people to switch to public transit is a lot about the convenience factor. Having the open fare system will probably encourage more ridership overall, in addition to saving on operating costs.