Questions & Answers about Metro

How do I find the quickest route to my destination?

Metro offers a free, Web-based service called the Trip Planner, which provides instant information that is accurate and up-to-the-minute. Type in where you're traveling from, where you're traveling to, and the time of day you plan to travel. The Trip Planner will offer up to three of the best routes and include fare information and walking directions from a Metrorail station or bus stop to a given address.

top

Before I begin my trip, how can I find out if certain elevators or escalators are operating?

From time to time, customers will come across elevators or escalators that are not in operation. Most of those elevators or escalators are undergoing rehabilitation because they are nearing the end of their projected useful life. Others are being tested, checked or repaired. To find out if certain elevators or escalators are in service, check Elevator & Escalator Service Status or call 202-962-1212.

top

How frequently are fares increased and why?

Revenue from passenger fares and other sources covers 55 percent of transit operating costs. The remainder comes from state and local governments and advertising. Metro has always sought to manage resources efficiently and to avoid fare increases. However, periodic fare increases are needed to offset higher costs for inflation in fuel, electricity, and health insurance. The last time fares were increased was in July 2012.

top

How can I keep my farecard working?

First, carry the card in a wallet, purse or elsewhere where it lies flat and remains clean and dry. Second, be careful to keep the farecard away from portable electronic devices, which can demagnetize farecards, making them unreadable. Demagnetization of farecards is a growing problem now that most people carry one or more electronic devices, including cellphones, iPods, PDAs, and handheld games. All such devices can generate magnetic fields and many can demagnetize farecards. Finally, take care not to place a farecard in a purse or wallet so that its magnetic strip rubs against that of a credit card or debit card. This can also demagnetize a farecard.

top

What should I do if my farecard doesn't work?

See the station manager located in the kiosk. If the station manager can't correct the problem immediately, you'll be given a fare adjustment envelope to complete so that we can replace your farecard by mail.

top

What goes into deciding how frequently buses run on routes?

Each local government purchases service from Metro. The frequency of service is determined by the number of people riding and the amount of service the local government funds.

top

Can I bring my bicycle on Metrorail?

Bicycles are permitted on Metrorail (limited to two bicycles per car) weekdays except during peak hours from 7-10 am and 4-7 pm. Bicycles are permitted all day Saturday and Sunday as well as most federal holidays (limited to four bicycles per car). Bicycles are not permitted on Metrorail on July 4 and other special events or holidays when large crowds are expected to use the system. Anyone traveling with a bicycle should board the train through the end doors of a rail car and avoid the center doors. Please do not enter the Metrorail system with a bicycle if you cannot complete your trip before the start of these rush periods. Folded bicycles are allowed on Metrorail during all operational hours, but must remain folded and securely fastened during weekday peak hours: 7-10 am and 4-7 pm.

top

Can I bring my dog on Metrorail and Metrobus?

Service animals that assist people with disabilities are the only animals permitted to ride unconfined on Metrorail and Metrobus. However, a pet may be transported on Metrorail and Metrobus, provided it is carried aboard in a secure container from which it cannot escape.

top

Can I eat or smoke on Metrorail or a Metrobus?

It is unlawful to eat, drink or smoke in the Metro system because of the labor and cost associated with maintaining the cleanliness of the transportation system as well as for safety reasons. Customers can be cited by Metro Transit Police for violating the no eating, no drinking, and no smoking rules.

top

What is the jurisdiction of the Metro Transit Police Department?

The Metro Transit Police Department has an authorized strength of 420 sworn officers, 106 security special police and 24 civilian personnel. Officers provide a variety of law enforcement and public safety services on the Metrorail and Metrobus systems in the Washington metropolitan area. Metro Transit Police officers have jurisdiction and arrest powers throughout the 1,500 square mile transit zone that includes the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia for crimes that occur on or against Metro facilities. The Metro Transit Police Department is the only tri-jurisdictional police agency in the country and the agency serves a population of 3.2 million.

Metro Transit Police officers are trained to the standards set for police in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Both uniformed and plainclothes officers patrol trains, buses, rail and bus stations, and parking lots. Radio dispatched scout cars respond to both rail and bus security issues. Metro also has a bicycle patrol, K-9 unit, motorcycle unit, and a Criminal Investigations Division.

top

How safe is the Metro system compared to other U.S. transit systems?

The Metro system has an excellent reputation for being a safe transit system. Metro Transit Police officers in uniform and in plain clothes routinely patrol Metrobuses, Metrorail trains, stations, and parking lots. Nevertheless, emergency response plans are in place for a variety of crisis scenarios. If riders ever see anything suspicious, they are encouraged to call Metro Transit Police, who have forged strong partnerships with local jurisdictional police, at 202-962-2121.

top

What should I do if I observe something unusual or suspicious, such as a suspicious package?

You should report any suspicious package or activity to a Metro employee or police officer. You should not go near an unattended item or handle it. On a train, you can use the emergency intercom at either end of the car to talk to the train operator. In a station, you can use the emergency intercom on platform pylons to talk to Metro personnel or call 911 on any pay phone. On a Metrobus, alert the bus operator. You can also call Metro Transit Police at 202-962-2121.

top

What is Metro doing to help regional air quality?

Our entire 1,500 Metrobus fleet is eco-friendly: 439 buses run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), 117 buses run on advanced technology diesel, and 50 buses are diesel/electric hybrid. All remaining buses in the fleet have completed the Clean Fleet project, which includes the use of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel in conjunction with exhaust treatment devices to lower emissions.

top

Why do some rail cars feel hot in the summer and cold in the winter?

Metro trains have cooling and heating equipment, but it may feel warmer or colder on a rail car when the train doors open and close at stations, allowing cool or warm air to escape. Air conditioning units or heaters aboard the rail cars also might be broken. Passengers are urged to note the car number and report the problem to 202-637-1328.

top

What is the schedule for future Metrorail expansion?

The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) is the sponsor of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, which will extend Metrorail into the Dulles Corridor in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. The 23.5-mile transit system will serve as a link between Metro's existing 106-mile Metrorail system and Loudoun County and provide service through Tysons Corner to Washington Dulles International Airport. Any other Metrorail extensions beyond the Dulles Corridor are being discussed locally.

top

I can't always get into a Metro parking lot early in the morning. How about adding more parking?

Metro is one of the largest parking operators in the Washington region; but in some locations, demand for parking is greater than the available spaces. Several parking facilities have been expanded, and Metro is adding spaces at several other facilities. We recommend customers consider using bus service to stations where parking is limited. Parking on weekends and most federal holidays is free at Metro-owned facilities.

top

What do I need to know to build near Metro property?

Metro reviews designs and monitors construction of projects adjacent to Metrorail and Metrobus property, facilities, and operations, through its Office of Joint Development and Adjacent Construction. Please visit our Adjacent Construction Program page for complete information.

top


© 2014 Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority       Privacy Policy and Legal Disclaimer

   BrowseAloud icon