Metro is trying push more riders to adopt the use of SmarTrip cards.
There will be a five percent increase in Metro fares beginning July 1. The changes will include a 25 percent increase for Metro's parking garages and a dollar surcharge for all paper fare cards.
"I think it's a little ridiculous," said David Holts, a Metro customer, who now uses a SmarTrip in response to higher fares for paper fare cards. Four out of five customers already use SmarTrip cards, however, and Metro officials say this is part of a push to get everybody on board.
"It costs us less to process SmarTrip Transactions," said Dan Stessel, Metro spokesman. "When you think about how many fare gates we have in the system across 86 stations, it's an awful lot to maintain." The fare hike is necessary to balance the transit agency's operating budget, according to Stessel.
As part of the push, Metro will roll out SmarTrip dispensers at the ten busiest stations, so riders can start using the cards right away. They are currently available for sale at the Metro sales office or via mail.
In September, a $3 rebate on new SmarTrip cards will be offered as an incentive.