Metro is now letting all SmarTrip users load money automatically onto their plastic farecards, the agency said Thursday, after testing it in a pilot earlier this month.
The new feature allows riders to connect a credit or debit card to their registered Smartrip farecards so that if their balance drops to a set level, the agency will automatically charge the rider and refill the card.
But the agency has changed the perimeters slightly since it last announced the plan. Riders can add up to $180 load automatically at a time, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said. However, they do not get to set the minimum threshold any longer. It will refill when the balance drops to $20, Stessel said. This summer, the agency had said riders could set their own minimum balance.
The agency also said there will be no delay after the first time riders sign up for the system, but the initial time there could be a one- to two- business day delay before the feature kicks in.
An estimated 1,300 riders signed up for the feature during the pilot after 30,000 riders were invited to test it, according to the agency. But some riders have said they are concerned about handing over their credit card information.