Resolution 2012–04: Regarding an accessible website for adding value to rechargeable fare cards for MTA and Metro


WHEREAS, public transportation is a service often provided in some form by municipal governments, especially those of highly urbanized areas such as the Washington D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan areas, and these transportation services require payment of fares by their users; and

WHEREAS, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the transit agency for the Washington area, including the Maryland and Virginia suburbs, first began using the SmarTrip cards in 1999, which allowed users to place an amount of value on the card that could be read by transit vehicles and entry and exit gates, and to replenish this amount as necessary; and

WHEREAS, determining the amount of value on and replenishing the amount on one’s SmarTrip card are a fully accessible process when performed at a Metro station and are activities that can be performed online by citizens who are not blind; and

WHEREAS, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), the transportation agency that serves the Baltimore region, introduced a similar card called the CharmCard in 2010, and a reciprocity agreement allows patrons to use either payment card to travel on any participating systems throughout the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, which is a valuable integration between the 2 systems that benefits citizens including those who are blind; and

Whereas, those who want to recharge their CharmCards or SmarTrip cards online are directed to the website, which has not consistently provided an accessible way for blind patrons to recharge either type of card online; Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland in convention assembled this 11th day of November, 2012, in the city of Annapolis, Maryland, that we call upon WMATA and its contractors to make necessary repairs to the website that will make it accessible to blind users and continue to maintain the accessibility of this site.