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Charm Card Meets SmartTrip

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By Patrick Madden

The Maryland Transit Administration is rolling out a new electronic fare card for use on the state's bus, subway, and light-rail systems.

It's called the CharmCard. It works just like Metro's SmarTrip cards and in fact the two can be used interchangeably. CharmCards will work at Metro stations, and SmarTrip cards will work on Baltimore's bus and light rail.

MTA spokeswoman Terry Owens says it will make commuting easier by integrating the region's transit systems.

The one holdout, though, is MARC trains and commuter buses. The project has been in the works for more than a decade and it cost Maryland more than $80 million to develop the card.

The CharmCard is available at select CVS and Giant stores. The card costs $10 and riders get a pre-loaded credit of $7.50.

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