WASHINGTON — While commuters hustled to meet their trains today in the District of Columbia’s Metro Center Station, United States Mint Director Ed Moy and Metro’s Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Chief Financial Officer Carol Kissal announced a new initiative that will place thousands of $1 coins in farecard vending machines. Now all of them accept and dispense $1 coins. Each farecard machine will be stocked with Presidential $1 Coins, Sacagawea Golden Dollar Coins and the new Native American $1 Coins, scheduled for release in January 2009. The United States Mint and Metro believe that dispensing $1 coins as change will help to increase the awareness of and promote widespread use of the $1 coins. This initiative kicks off in time for the holiday season and upcoming inaugural events.
“We are excited about collaborating with Metro to increase circulation of $1 coins,” Director Moy said. “Once the public realizes the benefits of using $1 coins, we are confident they will be motivated to use them more often.”
Metro operates the second largest subway system and the fifth largest bus network in the country. Metro has more than 900 farecard vending machines in 86 Metrorail stations in suburban Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
“We are pleased we could work with the United States Mint to make $1 coins available to our customers,” Ms. Kissal said. “Previously, Metro farecard vending machines only dispensed quarters and nickels. Now Metro riders have the convenience of carrying less change.”
Dollar coins are durable and can save the Nation billions of dollars. The lifecycle of a coin is 30 to 40 years. When a coin’s service life ends, it is 100 percent recyclable. The United States Mint recycles about one percent (16 million) of its old coins into new coins annually.
For more information about United States Mint $1 coin programs, visit http://www.usmint.gov/.