Mass transit systems have been more accepting of American $1 coins since the Susan B. Anthony dollar was introduced in 1979, and the Mint has taken advantage of that fact in its own back yard Dec. 22 when it announced the availability of Presidential, Sacagawea and new Native American dollar coins in the fare-card vending machines of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Mint Director Ed Moy joined the authority’s chief financial officer, Carol Kissal, in the District of Columbia’s Metro Center Station to mark the occasion by holding a 9 a.m. news conference.
Amid the bustle of a Monday morning commute, the two commented about their hopes for the dollar denomination’s future.
“We are excited about collaborating with Metro to increase circulation of $1 coins,” Moy said. “Once the public realizes the benefits of using $1 coins, we are confident they will be motivated to use them more often.”
Kissal said, “We are pleased we could work with the United States Mint to make $1 coins available to our customers.”
Though it may be a hard sell to the typical American, Kissal pointed out that, “Previously, Metro fare-card vending machines only dispensed quarters and nickels. Now Metro riders have the convenience of carrying less change.”
The Mint hopes that the many people arriving in Washington for the inauguration of Barack Obama will use the new coins and take the experience back home with them as a positive one, opening the door to national dollar coin circulation.
Metro operates the second largest subway system and the fifth largest bus network in the country, according to the Mint. Metro has more than 900 fare-card vending machines in 86 Metrorail stations in suburban Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.