Metrorail Faregate Replacement Project
As the third largest heavy rail transit system in the U.S., Metro is committed to improving the customer experience and ensuring the region’s infrastructure remains in a state of good repair. Every day, over one million transactions take place at the nearly 1,200 faregates across Metro’s 91 stations. In support of its commitment to customers, Metro launched a major initiative to upgrade the aging faregate technology throughout its system.
As part of this initiative, Metro began installing new and more modern faregates in the summer of 2021. The new faregate models are made from brush-finished stainless steel and include advanced safety features, modernized displays and allow for quicker pass-through at the gate. The project reached the mid-way point in April 2022 and Metro expects to have faster and more reliable gates at all of its stations by the end of 2022.
This technology investment means that older SmarTrip cards, purchased before 2012, no longer work and must be replaced. To find out if your SmarTrip card needs to be replaced visit wmata.com/cardreplacement or make your trip even more convenient with mobile pay.
A Modernized Experience and Improved Service for Customers
While the faregates will have a new look, customers can expect the same ease of use they are accustomed to with upgraded features such as:
- Larger displays
- Increased safety features, including improved motion sensors
- More handsfree service options through the kiosk-mounted payment validator and mobile payment through Apple and Google Pay
And that’s not all. The new faregate technology will also provide Metro’s station managers with instant access to faregate data, helping improve customer service when SmarTrip card issues arise.
The upgraded technology will require replacement of Metro’s first generation SmarTrip cards, issued 2012 or earlier. The cards contain outdated chip technology and will not be compatible with the new faregates. To learn more and determine if your card needs to be replaced, visit wmata.com/cardreplacement.
Huntington (north entrance)
Smithsonian (north entrance)
Stations with New Faregates
Archives – Navy Memorial
College Park-U of Md
East Falls Church
Farragut North (northwest entrance)
Federal Center SW
Huntington (south entrance)
Largo Town Center
L’Enfant Plaza (east entrance)
McPherson Sq (east entrance)
Metro Center (east and north entrances)
Mt Vernon Square
Prince George's Plaza
Rhode Island Ave
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Silver Spring (south entrance)
West Falls Church
Did you know?
Today’s faregates were installed in the 1990s when the original SmartTrip card was introduced. At that time, many transit systems featured taller or floor-to-ceiling revolving gates – which made some passengers feel less safe and less aware of their surroundings. Metro’s faregates were intentionally designed to sit lower, providing customers with greater visibility into the station interior and eliminating most hidden spaces or blind corners.