Metro to Continue Updating to Modern, Stainless Steel Faregates

by MCS Staff

Metrorail Faregate Replacement Project

Every day, over one million transactions take place at the 1,200 faregates across Metro’s 91 stations. As part of its commitment to improve the customer experience and invest in keeping the region’s infrastructure in a state of good repair, Metro is undertaking a major initiative to replace and upgrade the aging faregate technology throughout its system.


Metrorail customers will soon see modern, stainless steel faregates at stations across DC, Maryland, and Virginia as the faregate system upgrades take place. The new faregate model is made from high-quality brush finished stainless steel and will include advanced safety features, modernized displays and quicker pass-through at the gate.

To help prepare and familiarize customers with the new gates, a limited pilot program will launch in June 2021 at six stations: Clarendon, Dunn Loring, Gallery Place, Glenmont, Waterfront and West Falls Church. All customers traveling through these six pilot stations will have the option of trying out the new faregate, whether they use a plastic SmarTrip® card or mobile pay.

Metro will begin full installation of the faregates this summer. Apart from the six pilot stations, customers will first be able to experience the new faregates at Potomac Avenue, Eastern Market, Capital South and Federal Center SW stations. In order to have minimal impact on customers’ commutes, installations will take place overnight, during non-business hours. Depending on the number of faregates, each station is expected to take up to two weeks to complete.

A Modernized Experience and Improved Service for Customers

While the faregates will have a new look, customers can expect the same ease of use they are accustomed to with upgraded features such as:

  • Larger displays
  • Increased safety features, including improved motion sensors
  • More handsfree service options through the kiosk-mounted payment validator and mobile payment through Apple and Google Pay

And that’s not all. The new faregate technology will also provide Metro’s station managers with instant access to faregate data, helping improve customer service when SmarTrip card issues arise.

The upgraded technology will require replacement of Metro’s first generation SmarTrip cards, issued 2012 or earlier. The cards contain outdated chip technology and will not be compatible with the new faregates. To learn more and determine if your card needs to be replaced, visit


October 2021:

Addison Road
Friendship Heights (north entrance)
Gallery Place (east and west entrances)
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (north entrance)
Silver Spring
Union Station

Stations with New Faregates

Arlington Cemetery
Capitol South
College Park-U of Md
Crystal City
Eastern Market
Federal Center SW
Forest Glen
Friendship Heights (south entrance)
Gallery Place (north entrance)
Georgia Ave-Petworth
Potomac Ave
Prince George’s Plaza
West Hyattsville

Did you know?

Today’s faregates were installed in the 1990s when the original SmartTrip card was introduced. At that time, many transit systems featured taller or floor-to-ceiling revolving gates – which made some passengers feel less safe and less aware of their surroundings. Metro’s faregates were intentionally designed to sit lower, providing customers with greater visibility into the station interior and eliminating most hidden spaces or blind corners.


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