On the first Friday of every month, Metro's General Manager, John Catoe, hosts a live chat on the transit agency's website. The public can write in questions and the answers are displayed over the course of the hour long chat. This past Friday was the first chat hosted since Metro announced its changes to the SmartBenefits program earlier last month.
When asked about the SmartBenefits changes by an Arlington resident, the GM had this to say:
Arlington, VA: Good afternoon - I have a question regarding the upcoming changes to SmartBenefits. Do we know yet what will happen to the current balances on our SmarTrip cards? For instance, if I have a $100 balance on the card beginning Jan 1, what "purse" will that money go into?Thank you!
Reply: Hi Arlington. I see a few questions about SmartBenefits here in the queue. Over the past couple of weeks, we have heard a lot of comments from customers about this change in SmartBenefits. I've decided that we need to rethink the changes that we are making. At this point I do not have any new details to share. I hope to be able to provide more detail about the program in the coming weeks that will be able to clarify these sorts of questions. Rest assured, I have heard what people have to say and your comments will be taken into account as we develop the plan moving forward.
It seems that Metro has heard from the public and taken the concerns of employers and employees into consideration. Congratulations to all of those who made their voices heard over the past few weeks and encouraged Metro to rethink some of the changes that could greatly affect companies and commuters in the area. As always, CommuterPage.com will continue to update all of you as more details emerge!