Fairfax Connector Buses Will Accept SmarTrip Cards


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov

April 12, 2007

Fairfax Connector Buses Will Begin Accepting SmarTrip Cards in May

Fairfax Connector buses soon will be able to accept SmarTrip cards as fare payment when new fareboxes are installed in May. The new SmarTrip fareboxes will be installed on south county buses in early May, and on north county buses in mid-May. All buses should have the new technology by June.

One of the advantages for passengers who use SmarTrip technology is the ability to travel seamlessly throughout the region using the card. Another advantage is the eventual opportunity to discontinue the use of paper transfers, tickets and passes. SmarTrip technology also will make boarding the bus more efficient.

The introduction of the SmarTrip farebox is Phase I of a two-phase, regional project. SmarTrip cards in Phase I will be programmed to recognize the continuation of a trip or transfer, so passengers will not be required to request a transfer when using the SmarTrip card to pay their fare. Also in Phase I, the new fareboxes will continue to accept cash, with the exception of pennies, just like the current fareboxes. All other fare media, including Metrobus passes and paper transfers, will continue to be accepted while Phase I of the farebox installation occurs.

Phase II, which will occur after transit systems throughout the entire region are equipped with the new fareboxes, is anticipated to feature enhanced functions and should enable the region to discontinue the use of paper transfers, tickets and passes. 

Passengers may purchase SmarTrip cards at the five Connector Store locations in Fairfax County:

  • Tysons-West*Park Transit Station
  • Reston East at Wiehle Avenue Park & Ride
  • Reston Town Center Transit Station
  • Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride
  • Franconia-Springfield Metro Station

SmarTrip cards also may be purchased through Metro online at www.wmata.com or at www.commuterdirect.com, or by visiting Metro sales outlets. SmarTrip cards also are available for sale at Metro stations that offer public parking. Passengers may add fare value to the SmarTrip card at any Metro station vending machine labeled “Passes/Farecards.” The SmarTrip card costs $5, and passengers are encouraged to register the card with Metro to protect the value from loss or damage. SmarTrip cards can hold up to $300 of fare value.

The new SmarTrip fareboxes are one of several improvements being made to the Fairfax Connector bus system this year. Bike racks will be installed on all Connector buses to accommodate bike riders, offering more choices for commuters. New “green diesel” low-floor buses have been ordered and will start arriving in May; these buses produce fewer emissions due to the installation of a diesel particulate filter system.

For media inquiries about Fairfax Connector’s new fareboxes, contact Mary Mulrenan, Fairfax County Department of Transportation, at 703-324-1204, TTY 703-324-1102.  

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For more news and information, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news.

Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs, services and activities. To request this information in an alternate format, call the Office of Public Affairs at 703-324-3187, TTY 711.

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