Washington D.C.’s Metro is moving ahead with an open fare system that will enable riders to pay for trips with their cell phones, contactless credit cards and even Federal IDs, according to the Washington Examiner.
The new system, which would call for upgraded fare gates and card readers in buses and parking garages, will cost around $60 million, but is expected to save the agency $33.8 million a year in the long run, since customers will be able pay their fares directly through their banks rather than go through Metro’s system.
According the Examiner, Metro spent $48.3 million this year alone processing fares and parking fees.
An open system could also allow Metro to create lucrative partnerships modeled after Barclays and Oyster, as well as launch a loyalty program, says the Examiner.
Metro has received initial proposals from seven companies so far for the project, the idea of which was first approved in 2009.
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