City Desk

The Needle: RIP, Paper Farecards Edition

The Cost of Paper: Metro really, really wants you to start using plastic farecards. Starting Monday, riders can transfer up to $20 from a paper farecard to a plastic one–up from the current maximum of seven. And as of July 1, there's a penalty of sorts awaiting paper-card riders: They'll pay an extra dollar per trip. The move may be a rare brilliant example of WMATA PR: By socking it to a group disproportionately made up of irregular riders–many of them from out of town–the transit authority manages to find a way raise a fare without once again pissing off local commuters. +1

Steal that Perfume! Remember the story of the area barbershop that was allegedly trying to fence $125,000 in stolen toothpaste, detergent, and clothing? Or the two dudes wanted for allegedly stealing $50,000 worth of ink cartridges from stores between Baltimore and Virginia? They're no fluke: According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, the D.C.-Baltimore area ranks among the Top 10 markets for organized retail theft. The good news? The less ethical among us might just be able to have cleaner clothes for trial–and a nicely printed letter to the judge asking for leniency. -5

They Heart D.C.: Want to really look unique in the new, booming District? Leave! Washington topped a list of most popular relocation destinations compiled by the American Moving and Storage Association. No word on whether the newcomers are nearsighted, undersized, or twit-like. +2

St. Stephen, the Overrated: Washingtonians love Stephen Strasburg. Major League Baseball peers? Not so much. Sports Illustrated recently compiled a list of the ten most overrated ballplayers–as determined by a poll of 227 major leaguers–and the Nationals' pitching ace finished ninth. But since the poll was anonymous, we don't know what the respondents' lifetime batting averages are against Strasburg. -3

Friday's Needle rating: 32 Today's score: -5 Today's Needle rating: 27

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  • VoiceofBinky

    Bastards! That should be a -1 on the Needle. I don't want to pay an extra buck to have pandas on my Metro cards unless that buck goes to the pandas. Personally.

  • VoiceofBinky

    Bastards! That should be a -1 on the Needle. I don't want to pay an extra buck to have pandas on my Metro cards unless that buck goes to the pandas. Personally.

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