Students can ditch their physical U-Pass cards and instead use an electronic U-Pass for Metro rides, officials announced in a Thursday release.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority officials said students with iPhones or Apple Watches can now add their SmarTrip U-Pass cards to their Apple Wallet and scan their phones or smart watches at fare gates to access Metro stations. The release states the card will be removed from the app when U-Pass expires at the end of the spring semester, and new U-Passes issued by partnering universities at the beginning of the academic year will need to be reuploaded to the app.
“It’s quick and easy to do,” the release states. “Just add the U-Pass card to Apple Wallet, and there’s no more plastic to carry around.”
The release states students’ physical U-Pass cards will no longer be functional after being uploaded to the Apple Wallet app. The cards are not currently supported through Google Play or other non-iPhone mobile payment apps.
“Metro will provide updates as we plan support for Android users,” the release states.
WMATA officials added a mobile payment option for those with regular SmarTrip cards in 2020. As part of their Metrorail Faregate Replacement Project, which they hoped to complete at the end of 2022, officials also planned the expansion of hands-free service options like mobile payment through Apple and Google Pay.
In 2021, Metro officials announced the U-Pass partnership with GW, which offers full-time students unlimited Metrobus and Metrorail rides for a $100 semesterly fee.
Students who did not receive a U-Pass card during the fall semester may pick up a new card for the spring semester at the GWorld Card Office starting Monday.