- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 25, 2006

Metro has brought in nearly $90,000 a month from automated teller machines since they were installed last year.

Metro’s contract with Chevy Chase Bank is its most profitable deal of the past two years. Metro officials expect the bank’s ATMs to bring in about $1.08 million during the next fiscal year, which starts Saturday. That will make up 73 percent of Metro’s new revenue-generating contracts, said Murray Bond, director of Metro’s Office of Marketing and Sales.

The new contracts include the ATMs and new forms of advertising such as station banners and tunnel ads.

Metrorail riders use the self-service banks frequently because the ATMs are located right beside fare machines, said Arlington resident Angela Parker.

“Even for people who do not bank with them, you’re headed to an event, and it’s just a convenient thing there,” said Ms. Parker, 44, who banks with Chevy Chase. “I love it. It’s so convenient and helpful. And they give you increments of $10, not $20.”

Metro has a $1.1 billion annual budget, including operating revenue and other sources of income such as government subsidies, Mr. Bond said.

The ATMs, which are in 36 stations, are expected to generate nearly 1 percent of Metro’s non-fare operating revenue for the next fiscal year. That revenue includes a subsidy from D.C. Public Schools, parking, advertising, joint development projects, its telecommunication network, interest revenue and contracts, Metro documents show.

About 83 percent of Metro’s operating revenue will come from passenger fare next fiscal year, the documents show.

Since they were installed in spring 2005, the machines have generated more revenue each month. Metro officials estimate the ATMs will make much more in fiscal 2007, but they cannot guess the machines’ long-term success, Mr. Bond said.

“This is a whole new area for us. What we really don’t know is if it’s going to plateau, continue to increase or go down,” he said. “But we just keep watching it.”

So far, the bank has installed ATMs in 35 Metrorail stations, with three in Metro Center. One more will be installed at the Pentagon station by the end of the year, bringing the total number of ATMs in the metro system to 38.

Just one more ATM means about $1,875 a month to Metro, documents show.

Chevy Chase Bank pays the transit system a base rent and a commission fee every month. Metro officials expect the monthly fee to total about $90,250 during the next fiscal year, Mr. Bond said.

He said the money will contribute to the Metro operating budget, help hold down fares and ease the pressure from rising fuel costs.

“Our costs are based on violate things, like the cost of fuel and electricity,” Mr. Bond said. “We’re no different from you if you have to fill up your car when the gas goes from $2 to $3. We have to pay it.

“The goal is to maximize revenue. For every dollar that is generated from the non-fare revenue, that’s a dollar less that the jurisdictions have to pay in their subsidies,” Mr. Bond said.

Other banks can’t jump into the lucrative market just yet: Chevy Chase won the five-year exclusive contract in spring 2005, he said.

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