No SmarTrip Cards Until September

And by "shortage," they meant "we're out":

Metro is temporarily suspending sales of SmarTrip cards and permanently suspending late-night two-car trains.

Metro officials said Thursday they only have about 20,000 of the plastic SmarTrip cards left. Although supplies will be trickling in, they have decided to halt sales next Monday, and resume again in September when a stockpile is built up.

Board members criticized managers who didn't foresee the shortage--especially after requiring SmarTrip cards to pay for parking at Metro lots beginning last month. Drivers without a SmarTrip card will have to buy paper farecards for the exact amount of the parking fee. They'll hand them to one of 48 temporary workers Metro is hiring to collect them.

Officials said they didn't expect the big increase in tourism or the overwhelming demand from local residents. The cards are now accepted on most Metrobuses, adding to the demand. ... "
> AP: "Metro Temporarily Halts SmarTrip Card Sales" (WTOP)


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