Metro Customers Receive Free Bikeshare Rides After Creating a Mobile Fare Card, Washington, DC 2021
5 minutes Date Launched: Aug 1, 2021 Dates given are approximate.
Credit: The Washington Post
Metro, the primary public transit system for the DC metropolitan area, is incentivizing customers to create a mobile SmarTrip®. SmarTrip is a fare card that customers can use across 10 transit systems in the region. Until recently, SmarTrips have been available only in the form of a plastic card. Customers can now load SmarTrip cards onto their smartphones using the SmarTrip app or their mobile wallets, like Apple Pay or Google Pay. Upon doing so, customers earn ten free 30-minute non-electric rides on Capital Bikeshare, the bikeshare system for the DC region. Capital Bikeshare has over 5,000 bikes and 600 docking stations in the area. People who choose to use Capital Bikeshares’ electric bicycles pay an extra $1 through this promotion. This promotion is available to new and existing SmarTrip users. Customers must reside in the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia to receive this offer. After creating their mobile SmarTrip, customers are prompted to redeem their free rides through the Lyft or Capital Bikeshare apps.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted transit ridership, and this initiative is part of a larger effort to draw customers back into using public transit in the DC area. Mobile SmarTrips can make a rider’s experience more user-friendly. Additionally, more people will be encouraged to use the city’s bikeshare system and potentially become more permanent users of Capital Bikeshare. Bikeshare is a valuable resource for first- and last-mile travel while also increasing the number of cyclists in a community’s transportation network. Overall, this partnership demonstrates how public transit and bikeshare are important supplements to one another.