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There’s a better than 7 percent chance that you’re the one holding up the Metrobus as you fumble with your change trying to reload your SmarTrip card just as people are trying to board at a busy intersection.

Fortunately, you may soon be able to take care of your finances on the street.

Metro is considering installing SmarTrip refill stations on District streets in an attempt to mitigate the lines that form when people add money to their cards on the buses.

In June 2014, Metro will install 14 devices along 16th Street NW to test out the concept, PlanItMetro, WMATA’s planning blog, reported last week.  These stops were selected because they have serve a lot of people who refill their cards on buses with just enough money to carry them through one or two bus rides.

The blog reports that about one out of every 14 trips on Metrobus involves a small value load, and on some routes it is as frequent as one out of every seven riders, which ultimately delays the buses.

The machines will be solar powered, will accept cash or credit, and will help keep the buses running on time.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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