Sounds like WMATA is working to think of some ways to make the bus system more efficient -- next June they're going to start testing kiosks to load money on your SmarTrip card at some bus stops on 16th Street.
The idea is that it will make boarding quicker -- right now it takes between 5 and 30 seconds for people to reload the card while boarding the bus, and often that happens once per every 14 or even 7 riders on some routes, meaning there's a lot of delays.
As a person who has both forgotten to add money to their card and a person who's been behind somebody taking forever to add money, I think this is a great idea. Even short delays can result is longer ones -- you wait a few seconds, miss a light, more people show up, buses get clustered, and so on -- it cascades. Everything we can do to make the system quicker would help.
Now if they'd just get rid of half of the stops on 14th Street!
Image from PlanitMetro