The sweet advantages of GOCard ownership are obvious to even the least adventurous of Hoyas. Those delightful little plastic ID cards, fittingly emblazoned with images of our faces and our campus, allow us to enter into our dorms, check out books and eat at Leo’s and The Tombs. And, if events pan out correctly over the next couple of months, GOCards may also be your ticket to ride the Metro.
The Office of GOCard Services is in negotiations with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to distribute GOCards that have SmarTrip chips. With this feature, Georgetown students need only put money on their GOCards and then simply touch them over a sensor at station fare gates in order to access the District’s public transportation system.
If implemented, Georgetown students can only benefit from this plan. The SmarTrip feature, though not quite the same as offering Georgetown its own Metro stop, will simplify the sometimes hectic experience of getting around a major metropolitan city. The convenience that the service will provide may finally encourage Hoyas to explore all that the capital has to offer, rather than stay on campus for four years as Georgetown students are typically known to do.
As exciting as this proposal is, it can only help students if it is actually put in motion. The plan to offer SmarTrip has already been delayed several months because of trademark issues and is being coordinated by the Department of Auxiliary Services – the same university department “organizing” the renovations of Epicurean and Co. and O’Donovan Hall. Those disastrous projects have been be plagued by nearly three years of combined delays. We hope that this program will not encounter the same fate as these projects and can avoid any more problems in the near future.
The SmarTrip plan has already overcome several obstacles, and we think it seems very likely that students will be able to use their GOCards in a new and wonderfully functional way this fall. If that’s the case, Washington, D.C., should see a new influx of Georgetown students – and not just when the basketball team is playing at Verizon Center.