Metro's trouble-prone Farecard system was suffering from post-New Year's blahs yesterday, especially at Cheverly and Cleveland Park.
Both of the Farecard ticket-vending machines at the Cheverly station in Prince George's County were out of service yesterday morning, as were all three Farecard dispensers at the Cleveland Park stop on Connecticut Avenue NW.
Fady P. Bassily, Metro's assistant general manager for rail service, said it is "very unusual" for all the Farecard machines at any station to go on the blink at the same time, despite the equipment's chronic malfunctions.
Yesterday's Farecard malaise was diagnosed mainly as a post-holiday hangover. Over the Christmas and New Year's holidays, Metro was too short-staffed to empty the money bins inside the fare-collecting machines promptly. So some got stuffed and refused to accept patrons' cash.
"The money stacker was full. It could not receive any more money," said Bassily. "By the end of the day, they should be up to snuff."
Passengers were allowed to enter the two stations without buying Farecards. They were told to pay their fares at the stations where they disembarked.
Both Cheverly machines were out of order from 6 a.m. until 11:08 a.m. The three Cleveland Park dispensers were down from 8:45 a.m. until 11:02 a.m.
A surfeit of cash and other afflictions also put some Farecard machines out of sorts at other stations, including Arlington County's Virginia Square stop, where officials said two of the three dispensers were temporarily discombobulated.