Greater Greater Washington

Transit


Alexandria pilots monthly SmarTrip bus pass

Alexandria is looking for riders that want to test loading a monthly bus pass on their SmarTrip cards.


Photo by JLaw45 on Flickr.

Customers would be able to load these $35 passes onto their SmarTrips. Each pass is good for a month of unlimited trips on Alexandria's DASH, Arlington's ART, and Fairfax Connector bus services.

The fare on each of these services is $1.50 with SmarTrip (except certain routes, where the pass is good for the first $1.50 of fare), and there's normally a $0.50 discount on transfers from Metrorail.

Commuters who just use the Virginia bus services would use about 42 one-way trips per month for a cost of $63.00, so this $35 pass is an excellent deal.

Customers relying on both bus and rail transit might also want to use this pass. Like the WMATA regional weekly bus pass, if you transfer from a bus ride on the pass to Metrorail, you will not get a transfer discount.  Paying per ride, you'll pay $40 for the bus segments of trips using SmarTrip (after transfer discounts are tallied), and only $35 for this monthly pass. This is still a good deal.

At first, customers will have to purchase and load their passes at transit stores, CVS and Giant stores in Alexandria. Eventually, Alexandria will add the ability to purchase and load the pass online. A subscription option is in the works.

If you are interested in participating in the pilot program, visit the website announcing the DASH pass program, fill out the application, and fax it to 703–746–5641 or email it to tristan.cunningham at alexandriava.gov.

Michael Perkins blogs about Metro operations and fares, performance parking, and any other government and economics information he finds on the Web. He lives with his wife and two children in Arlington, Virginia. 

Comments

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This is nice, but a bus tracker for Dash would be even better.

by Aaron on Apr 12, 2011 11:58 am • linkreport

@Aaron, that's in the works also. Send me an email to that address above.

by Tristan on Apr 12, 2011 1:09 pm • linkreport

Yeah! More complexity in the fare structure. Now we can experience even more choice paralysis!

by Jasper on Apr 12, 2011 1:16 pm • linkreport

@Jasper: This is just the Smartrip implementation of already existing fare structure.

by Michael Perkins on Apr 12, 2011 1:24 pm • linkreport

In a different time when my commute pattern was different I had the monthly DASH pass on paper and it was a screaming deal. I still use DASH to the Metro, and it is nearly always cleaner, nicer, and more timely than Metro. +1 for DASH!

I have not had good experience with bus trackers of any sort, so I'd rather the money be spent on something more reliable.

by spookiness on Apr 12, 2011 10:15 pm • linkreport

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