Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

University to Offer GOCards With SmarTrip

After months of delays due to licensing issues, Georgetown will soon be offering GOCards equipped with SmarTrip chips to all students.

The Office of GOCard Services began considering including the SmarTrip service on its cards in November. The process was briefly stalled because Cubic Transportation Services, the manufacturers of SmarTrip cards for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, had already trademarked the name GOCard. The issue has since been resolved.

SmarTrip cards are magnetic, debit-style deposit cards that can be used on Metrobuses and subways. Using these new SmarTrip-equipped GOCards, students, faculty and staff will be able to use their GOCards to ride the Metro.

Roman Fahrmann, director of the Office of GOCard Services, said he will be meeting with WMATA on May 28 to determine pricing and implementation of the cards.

WMATA originally set the price for Georgetown’s new GOCards at $5, but recently indicated that the price would rise.

SmartBenefits for faculty and staff, a program where the university directly deposits fixed amounts on SmarTrip cards, will also be available with the new GOCards.

Fahrmann said the Office of GOCard Services will not make a profit off the new service.

“Whatever price Metro gives us, we’ll pass onto the students,” he said.

“We need to talk to Metro about availability and get current pricing – that’s the limiting factor,” Fahrmann said, “but they should be available in about four months.”

The GOCards with built-in SmarTrip were distributed for a trial period at the Law Center earlier this year.

Students will be able to register the cards online in order to prevent losing funds if the card is lost or misplaced.

“There is a chance that the cards will be automatically registered, but I can’t make any promises at this point,” Fahrmann said.

Dick Siskind of the WMATA Office of SmarTrip Operations was not available for comment.

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