New Riders

Metro Fare Basics

Use Metro's Trip Planner to calculate fares and to determine the best way to travel (rail, bus, or both).

Each passenger must pay a fare; however, two children under age five may travel free with a paying passenger.

  • SmarTrip® cards are used to pay fares on both Metrorail and Metrobus.
  • Metrorail fares are variable depending on time-of-day and distance traveled.
  • Regular (non-express) bus fares are the same throughout the system.
  • Metrobus also accepts bills and coins.

Save Time and Money with a SmarTrip® Card

  • Get Free/Discounted Transfers: With a SmarTrip® card, Metrobus transfers are free and Metrobus-to-Metrorail transfers are discounted.
  • Avoid Carrying Change: Exact change is required on Metrobus if the fare is paid in cash.
  • Save on a One Day Unlimited Metrorail Pass: A SmarTrip® card with a pre-loaded Metrorail One Day Pass is less expensive when purchased online.
  • If you live in the US, consider purchasing a SmarTrip® card online 10 business days before you travel.
  • SmarTrip® cards are also available at Metrorail vending machines, authorized retailers and Metro sales offices.


Metro operates parking facilities at 42 Metrorail stations.

  • Parking is free at Metro-operated lots on Sundays and federal holidays, except during special events. On most weekends, it's easy to find a space at Metro parking lots.
  • Parking fees are collected during the following hours:
        Monday-Thursday  7:30 a.m. - 12:30 a.m.
        Friday  7:30 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.
        Saturday  10:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.
  • Metro-operated lots accept SmarTrip® cards and major credit cards to pay for parking.

Bulk Sales

  • There is no discount for group sales. However, as a convenience, groups may order SmarTrip® cards by mail tailored to the group's needs.
  • Use Metro's Trip Planner to calculate fares and determine which fare or pass products will suit your needs.

Include the following with your order:

  1. Your name, address and contact information.
  2. The type and quantity of each product, e.g., 15 SmarTrip® One Day Metrorail Passes.
  3. Your organization's check, cashier's check or money order made payable to WMATA. (Credit cards and personal checks are not accepted for group sales.)

Mail your order to:

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Bulk Sales
3301 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22314

Note: This is a mailing address only and is not a walk up customer service location.

Your order will be shipped via the U.S. Postal Service, Certified Mail. Allow 10-15 business days for delivery. You may also call Bulk Sales at 202-962-5700 for assistance.

SmarTrip® Card

The SmarTrip® card is a permanent, rechargeable farecard that is safe and easy to use. Learn more

Buy SmarTrip® cards online, at any Metrorail station, or at many convenient locations. You can set up an online SmarTrip® account to view your card balance and usage history, and register new cards. Once you've purchased and registered a SmarTrip® card, add value or passes automatically by setting up Auto Reload. Learn more


If you have questions or comments about SmarTrip®, please call:
7 am - 8 pm Mon-Fri