Austin MetroRail phases out credit/debit card payments

MetroRail riders who usually buy a ticket with a credit or debit card at the Downtown, Plaza Saltillo or MLK Jr. station, will no longer be able to. 

Ticket vending machines at MetroRail stations are phasing out card payments and instead offering riders the option of paying with a card on a cellphone app.
“People that are not familiar with using apps on phones, I think it'll be a little bit of a shock for them, especially tourists coming in like we are,” said Allyn Allison who rode the MetroRail Sunday.

The first stations affected by the change will be Downtown, Plaza Saltillo and and MLK Jr.
On October 16, Highland, Crestview and Kramer stations will stop card payments and, finally, on the 23, Howard, Lakeline and Leander will jump on the cash-only train.

CapMetro said the reason for the changes has to do with national credit security regulations.

In order to upgrade all ticket vending machines to implement card reader technology, CapMetro would have to spend $5 million over a five year period.

According to CapMetro, they would rather spend that money on transit services.

“But other cities like Washington, D.C., which has a great metro system, credit cards and cash and etc. accepted in that system. So I'm a little surprised to see it here,” said Allison.  

“It's a pretty great service, but, definitely, not being able to use a credit card or debit card, I'll have to make an effort to remember to have cash on me,” said Caitlin Swanson who also rode the MetroRail Sunday.