Metro-Metro, a joint authority of the DC, Maryland, and Virginia governments, is the region’s principal transit operator. It operates subway-style trains and public buses.
Metrorail is the backbone of the DC region’s transit system. Five rail lines, each identified by a different color, offer service throughout the region with free transfers between lines.
Metrobus supplements the Metrorail system with local bus service throughout DC and surrounding jurisdictions.
Metro’s “Trip Planner” provides door-to-door transit and walking directions throughout the region, incorporating information from Metrorail, Metrobus, and most other local bus systems, including Alexandria’s DASH, Arlington County’s ART, DC’s Circulator, Fairfax City’s CUE, Fairfax County’s Fairfax Connector, Montgomery County’s RideOn, Prince George’s County’s THE BUS, and others.
Smartrip cards are accepted for payment on Metrorail, Metrobus, most other area buses, and most commuter buses. Smartrip cards are also required to pay for parking at Metro parking lots. Passengers receive discounted fares and free or reduced transfers between services by paying with Smartrip. Smartrip cards can be purchased online, in person at Metro’s sales office in Metro Center Station, and from CVS and Giant stores throughout the region.
Maryland and Virginia each have weekday-only commuter rail service.
Virginia Railway Express-VRE operates trains between Virginia points between Union Station, L’Enfant Plaza, and points in Virginia via its Fredericksburg and Manassas Lines.
Monday-Friday commuter buses from points in the outer suburbs to major employment centers inside the Beltway.
Loudon County Transit (buses to/from Loudoun County, VA)
MTA Commuter Bus (buses to/from points in MD)
OmniRide (Buses to/from points in Manassas, Manassas Park, and Prince William County, VA)