City Desk

Metro to Save Best Part About Metro

Is there a better feeling than leaving Metro with a negative balance on your SmarTrip card? It's like you had one too many at the Metro Tavern, don't have enough to cover the bill, and ol' Richard Sarles offers to put it on your tab. "I know you're good for it," he says. "You've got a SmarTrip, after all."

A Washington Examiner article today said Metro was planning to make it impossible to go negative on a SmarTrip card. But not so, writes Metro spokesman Dan Stessel in an email.

"There are no changes planned to negative balances on exit," Stessel writes.

It will be harder to go into the negative—and thus, to catch a train if your card needs refilling—because Metro will soon start requiring SmarTrip users to have at least $1.20 on their cards before entering the system. Still, it's nice that Metro is keeping the ability to go into the negative available. Now if they could just deal with the impaling escalators.

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