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In Washington Metro wants to make cash disappear: Critics worry the change will disproportionately affect the poor





On an X9 bus headed toward Metro Center last week, riders quickly tapped their SmarTrip cards as they got on board. But at one stop, the line paused as a man slid dollar bills into the cash feeder. The brief slowdown illustrated why Metro planners are considering barring cash on as many as 13 express bus routes, forcing the 12 percent of bus riders who use bills and change to switch to SmarTrip cards. Critics worry that the idea, headed for a November vote by Metro’s board, will make it harder for the poor, homeless and disabled to take express buses — relegating them to a sort of second-class status on the slower local buses that would continue to take cash.

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

The cashless society from an ethical point of view









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