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Metro Eyes Modernizing Fare Collection System

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Metro is preparing to modernize the way passengers pay fares.

The transit agency is set to choose a contractor to lead the process by July. Metro wants the new system in place within four years.

Currently, riders can put money onto electronic SmarTrip cards. But Metro’s Chief Financial Officer Carol Kissal tells The Washington Post that the agency also wants to let people pay with the wave of a smart phone, key fob or credit card as they board a bus or pass a fare gate.

A new payment system will involve replacing about 2,000 fare gates and 700 vending machines at 86 stations. But General Manager Richard Sarles says since existing fare equipment is worn out, now is the time to make the change.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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