February 06, 2008

Intelligent Indeed

I lost my metro Smart Card.  For those of you who don’t live in the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia, the website describes it as:


a permanent, rechargeable farecard. It's plastic – like a credit card – and is embedded with a special computer chip that keeps track of the value of the card. The benefits of using SmarTrip include:


-Using SmarTrip is easy and fast! Instead of inserting a farecard through the Metrorail faregate slot, you simply touch the SmarTrip card to the circular target panels on top of or inside station faregates. Likewise, you can tap the SmarTrip farebox on Metrobus to pay your fare with SmarTrip.


-You may add up to $300 in Metro value on a SmarTrip card, so it can last a long time between charging.


-If you lose the card, you don't lose the value. For a $5 fee to replace the card itself, we'll issue you a new SmarTrip card with the value on the card at the time you notified us it was lost. For this important replacement feature, you must register your card.


-Does your employer provide the Metrochek transit benefit to you? Your employer can load the value of your Metrochek benefit onto your SmarTrip card using SmartBenefits. Ask your employer about it.


Well, as a matter of fact, my employee *does* provide Metrochek benefits, at the value of about $105 per month for my travel.  Yesterday, I loaded my card with the benefits for the month, and…promptly lost it somewhere between the metro station and the office.  


I didn’t think I had remembered to register it.  But I tried my luck and called the SmartCard office.  They were able to retrieve my information, find out that the card I lost had $105 left on it, and place an order to send me a new card with $100 on it in the next few days by mail.  It was so easy.  And I’m so relieved not to have to fork out $100 on my travel this month.


SmartCard's moto is:


More than a smart card. It's pure genius.


I would have to agree with it.


Ken and Belly said...

I agree, too.

(you made me think of Homer Simpson): The card is so smart. The card is so smart. S.M.R.T. D'oh! I mean S.M.A-R.T

Beaver said...

Montreal yet has to learn from DC. You lose it, they'll give you a handkerchief. Maybe.