Many people rely on Metro to get where they need to go, regardless of the weather, which is why we do everything possible to provide safe and reliable transit service during inclement winter weather.
Metro has nearly 600 pieces of snow equipment available to tackle snow and ice accumulation at stations, rail yards, parking garages, and bus facilities. Hundreds of employees and contractors can be called upon to respond to snow conditions.
During periods of severe weather, Metro may limit or curtail service for safety reasons. Review the information below to know what to expect.
Metrorail can operate very close to a normal schedule in snowfall of up to six inches. However, once snow reaches a height of about eight inches, it may be necessary to suspend service above ground. Underground-only operation allows for continuous connections to key activity centers in downtown Washington and the Pentagon, and helps ensure a more rapid return of full service by protecting rail cars from weather-related damage and allowing crews to focus on clearing snow from above-ground tracks. For more information, see Metrorail Snow Service.
During inclement weather, Metrobus service may be modified as local road conditions deteriorate. Metrobus will first reduce service, then limit service to snow emergency routes. If snow accumulates to unsafe levels or road conditions are impassable, Metro will halt all bus service until it is safe to resume service. Metrobus has worked with local jurisdictions to identify snow emergency routes that need to be plowed to maintain bus service to as many communities as possible.
Metrobus will provide regular service in one to two inches of snow, but some routes that operate on hills, curves, and narrow streets may be detoured. With two to four inches of snow, freezing rain or ice, Metrobus may reduce service, widening intervals between buses. Four to eight inches of snow will lengthen intervals between buses even further. With eight inches or more of snow, Metrobus will run minimal bus service only. When road conditions become unsafe, Metrobus will curtail all service. For more information, see Metrobus Snow Service.
MetroAccess will operate during inclement weather, but service will be modified throughout the day as road and walkway conditions deteriorate causing unsafe conditions. If roadways or walkways become unsafe, MetroAccess will suspend operations until it is safe to resume service.
For a map and information on how Metrorail operates during a snow event, please visit our Metrorail Snow Service page.
For route descriptions and maps of service during snow events, please visit our Metrobus Snow Service page.