: News

Metro Board: Replacing SmarTrip Will Be Difficult

Play associated audio
Metro needs to order more SmarTrip cards, but the company that makes them doesn't exist anymore.
David Schultz
Metro needs to order more SmarTrip cards, but the company that makes them doesn't exist anymore.

Metro is trying to develop new fare cards to replace the SmarTrip cards it currently uses. But that's proving to be a logistical challenge.

Metro needs new fare cards because the company that made SmarTrip cards went out of business. And, to make matters worse, the company has proprietary ownership of the technology behind the cards.

Metro Board Member Gordon Linton says agreeing to let the company own the SmarTrip technology was a big mistake.

"We don't own the system that we paid millions of dollars for," Linton says. "We are a licensee."

Linton's Metro Board colleague, Chris Zimmerman, says Metro needs to start over with a new card and a new company so it can cut its losses.

"And so that we're not just funneling money to people who are real good at intellectual property, but aren't really selling us anything, except a tether to them," Zimmerman says.

For now, Metro says it has enough SmarTrip cards on hand to last it two years.

NPR

On Television, More Transgender Characters Come Into Focus

Now that it's more common to see gay characters on TV, is the medium turning to transgender people for fresh stories? NPR's Neda Ulaby looks at TV's crop of transgender and "gender fluid" characters.
NPR

Slowly And Sweetly, Vietnam's Chocolate Industry Grows

French colonists planted cacao in Vietnam in the 1800s, but the crop was outpaced by coffee and cashews. Now French expats are helping the country become a respected producer of high-end chocolate.
NPR

Pennsylvania Congresswoman Goes All In For Obamacare

Does Rep. Allyson Schwartz's pro-Affordable Care Act television ad signal a new thinking among Democrats running in statewide races?
NPR

New Browser Plug-in Would Literally Annihilate This Headline

Mike Lazer-Walker created a free browser plug-in called Literally, which replaces the word "literally" with "figuratively" in all online text. As the website explains, that's literally all it does.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.