The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) in the US has commenced the testing of new modernised faregates at six rail stations.
These faregates have been deployed at Clarendon, Dunn Loring, Gallery Place, Glenmont, Waterfront and West Falls Church stations as part of a month-long pilot project.
They provide improved safety features, larger displays, and quicker commuter processing.
After the completion of the testing, Metro is expected to start the faregate replacement project in July.
Starting later this year, Metro will swap nearly 2,500 parking meters with pay stations, providing additional convenient payment options to commuters.
The new brush-finished stainless steel faregates will replace more than 1,200 old faregates across all 91 stations.
Metro stated that the project is anticipated to be completed in one year, with each cluster of stations taking one to two weeks.
The first stations to undergo replacement include Potomac Ave, Eastern Market, Capitol South and Federal Center SW.
During the replacement process, the stations will remain open to passengers.
The new faregates will not support the Metro’s first-generation SmarTrip cards, issued in 2012 or earlier.
After the commencement of the installations, the old SmarTrip cards will be replaced.
SmartBenefits commuters can also replace their first-generation SmarTrip cards through the online process of self-service replacement.
Metro general manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld said: “Metro’s faregates are more than 25 years old and at the end of their useful life.
“Modernising our fare payment technology will take Metro into the future. Customers can already pay with their mobile devices and soon new and improved faregates will make it quicker, and easier for anyone to ride.”
Earlier this month, Metro introduced SmarTrip on Google Pay for streamlining the payment process for Metro and all regional transit providers.