At this coming Thursday's meeting of Metro's Customer Service Operations and Safety (CSOS) Committee, the General Manager, John Catoe, will discuss the plan of action and milestones for upgrading Smartrip cards. The schedule for key enhancements is:
- Present-August 2009: Expand available locations to load value onto Smartrip cards.
- September 2009: Smartrip Passes (yay!)
- September 2009: Smartrip self-service website (you can view recent transactions and register for "other point-of-sale features")
- December 2009: Auto Load
- December 2009: Account Link (For compliance with IRS tax rules that require transit and parking benefits to be stored separately on transit smartcards)
The milestones happen almost immediately (starting this week) and end with final system acceptance in March of 2010.
There is a slide at the end talking about requests for proposals for an "Open Payment System". I think this means WMATA will be investigating using open standard farecards so the problem of being tied to a single vendor goes away.
It's amazing what happens when the Inspector General, The Washington Post, your oversight Board and a Local Crank light a fire under you. We went from upgrades contracted in 2003 with no completion by 2008, to a contract in late 2008 with (hopefully!) delivery by early 2010.