News & Politics

Here Is Metro’s “Sleeve” for the Inauguration Fare Cards That Don’t Feature Donald Trump

Image via Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

The commemorative SmarTrip fare cards Metro is selling around Donald Trump‘s inauguration famously won’t feature the President-elect. But anyone who really wants to Trump up their ride to the swearing-in will be able to do so with “sleeves” the transit agency and Presidential Inaugural Committee plan to distribute the morning of January 20.

Trump does not appear on the cards themselves because, Metro said last month, his transition team did not approve a photo by the deadline, marking a dramatic change from the 2009 and 2013 cards that featured a beaming Barack Obama, or even 2013’s unused design for Mitt Romney, which also showed the former Massachusetts governor smiling warmly.

As for the image Metro wound up using for the sleeves, well, it’s not very sunny. It features a black-and-white Trump grimacing into the camera above his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again!” The use of Trump’s slogan makes for another odd twist: the 2009 cards did not feature any kind of jingoism, while the 2013 cards read “America makes history again.” (Obama’s official 2008 and 2012 slogans were “The Change We Need” and “Forward,” respectively.)

“Metro has been working cooperatively with the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which provided the artwork and approved the design of the sleeve,” a Metro spokeswoman tells Washingtonian.

Still, for a photo picked out by the folks planning his inauguration, the President-elect sure looks glum. Perhaps he’s thinking of the run-down condition of Metro’s infrastructure. Maybe he’s glum because unlike other “Make America Great Again”-branded items—which retail for as much as $99—the sleeves will be given away for free. Or maybe he’s as unhappy to be associated with Metro as the 68.2 percent of people who live in its service area are to have him here.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.