With Additional Price Points, SelectPass Sales Continues to Grow

September 29th, 2016

Metro added an additional seven price points to SelectPass starting in August, and customers have started to take notice!


SelectPass sales by month in a stacked line graph, meaning total sales is the value of the upper-most line.

Perhaps you recall Metro is testing a new, custom-value pass.  Customers “select” their usual commute trip and then can purchase a monthly pass priced at 18 days of commute travel.  Since all months have more than 18 work days, this new pass offers regular customers a great deal.  The pass began with two price points ($2.25 and $3.75) and included rail-only and rail-bus options.

As you may have heard, Metro expanded the SelectPass pilot to 7 new price points on August 22, for September passes. And customers have responded.  As you can see in the graphic above, the base-fare pass sales for September exceeded their sales levels for July.  And instead of eating into sales of the base-fare pass, the new price points are adding additional pass sales.

A recent customer experience survey polled over four thousand current or former SelectPass customers, where we learned the following:

  • 49% of current customers rated their experience as perfectly positive (a 10) and an additional 44% of customers gave SelectPass a score between 7 and 9.
  • Many in the small percentage who rate the pass with a 5 or less claim they’re not sure how the pass is saving them money.  They should check out the SelectPass savings calculator developed by our friends over at GGWash.
  • Word of mouth is still a highly ranking way people learn about SelectPass, so please continue to tell your friends!

The open-ended question included in the survey allowed customers to tell us how they felt about SelectPass.  Three main themes emerged:

  1. SelectPass saves customers money
  2. SelectPass is easy and convenient
  3. SelectPass relieves worry about how much money is on a customer’s card

We continue to made small enhancements to our fare system that will allow us to offer the remaining price points.  In the meantime, look for new SelectPass ads in stations and let us know in the comments how you feel about SelectPass.

And don’t forget, October passes went on sale on September 16.  Buy yours today to get the most out of SelectPass!

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  1. Kevin M.
    September 29th, 2016 at 10:13 | #1

    The new Select Pass price points have given me a case of deja vu… I cannot purchase them using my employer’s commuter benefit system because they don’t support it. It took two months of near-daily begging to get Edenred to update their system for Transit Pass Benefits, and they decided to limit orders to the pass price points available at that time. (Note that they aren’t actually ordering the pass for you, just setting how many Transit Benefit dollars are on your SmarTrip account.) If I wanted to order at a new level, I’d have to try to hack together an order with the existing price points, or pay the additional amount post-tax with my own credit card. Not ideal.

    Here’s what their system looks like today: http://imgur.com/a/u74ra

    Lucky for me, I’m quite happy with the $2.25 level and continue to buy it pre-tax every month. My hope is that WMATA starts working more proactively with benefits administrators, so that everyone has access to SelectPass at the lowest possible cost.

  2. Michael Perkins
    September 29th, 2016 at 11:51 | #2

    Kevin M brings up a good point – a lot of people are potential customers for Select Pass but cannot get them because of roadblocks put up by their payroll departments.

    Can WMATA put out a howto-style document for an employee that wants to get a Select Pass but has a payroll department that doesn’t know what to do?

  3. JL
    September 30th, 2016 at 11:32 | #3

    SelectPass is a step in the right direction. However, my enthusiasm for the product has waned a bit as it often forces me to choose between cost and convenience when it comes to intermodal transfers. A destination that can be reached more easily (and more expensively) by rail-to-bus transfer might become a rail-to-long walk trip in light of the fact that SelectPass does not automatically include Metrobus; (and sometimes inclement weather may even eliminate the option of rail-to-long walk.)

    WMATA inexplicably does not give SelectPass users any rail-to-bus transfer discounts, even though they have paid for 36 full-fare Metrorail trips. In keeping with the intermodal functionality offered by the PugetPass that it is modeled after, SelectPass needs to offer fare flexibility across both bus and rail. A bus-only SelectPass should charge rail trips from Smartrip stored value; a rail pass should automatically includes bus service since bus fares are less than or equal to rail fares at all times.

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