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Taking the Bus in Washington


Metrobus provides more than 400,000 trips each weekday serving 11,500 bus stops in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Metrobus is the sixth busiest bus agency in the United States, with a fleet of more than 1,500 buses operating on 325 routes. Maps for bus routes in Washington, D.C.; Virginia; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Prince George’s County, Maryland can be found by following the preceding hyperlinks. To get a rail-to-bus or bus-to-rail discount or to transfer free from bus to bus, you must use a SmarTrip® card.

Arlington Transit (ART): Arlington Transit operates within Arlington County, Virginia, supplementing Metrobus with cross-County routes as well as neighborhood connections to Metrorail. All ART buses are fully ADA accessible with wheelchair ramps and priority seating. ares can be paid with cash, a SmarTrip card, 7 Day Regional Bus Pass (loaded on SmarTrip), gold ART token, or a green iRide token (teens only). Customers using SmarTrip cards get free or discounted transfers within a two-hour time period.

Fairfax County Connector: Known to locals as simply “The Connector,” the original routes connected the southern part of the county (near the Mount Vernon Estate) to the Huntington Metro station which borders Alexandria. This area continues to be the core of the system, and is noted for the number of residents in the Richmond Highway area who use the service at all times of the day. Fairfax Connector, or simply “The Connector”, has since expanded to 50-odd routes spanning much of the county. In 1994, the service was extended to the high-technology industrial areas of suburban Reston and Herndon. Along State Route 267 (the Dulles Toll Road), express buses carry commuters from free park-and-ride lots to the Washington Metro system. Fares are paid in cash (exact change), Metrobus weekly unlimited bus “flash” pass, or WMATA issued SmarTrip card.

Where to Wait for the Bus

Stand at Metrobus stops, which are designated with red, white, and blue signs.

Check the bus destination before you board. The route number and destination are displayed above the windshield and on the boarding side of the bus. For planning bus trips, please see the Trip Planner or phone the Metro information line at 202-637-7000.

Metrorail and Metrobus Transfers

To get a rail-to-bus or bus-to-rail discount or to transfer free from bus to bus, you must use a SmarTrip® card.


On occasion, Metro may implement detours on some or all of its Metrobus routes. Severe weather, road construction or special events, such as festivals, road races or parades, may cause these temporary route changes. Riders can stay up-to-date on the changes by visiting the Status & Alerts page.


Bicycling has become exceedingly popular as people use their bicycles every day for commuting, shopping, and general transportation. With this in mind, Metro offers cyclists the Bike & Ride program for traveling with your bicycle on Metrobus and Metrorail.

New Metrobus Service: NH2 National Harbor Alexandria Line

On October 23, 2016 the new NH2 National Harbor Alexandria began service. This new route will connect Carlyle and Old Town neighborhoods of Alexandria, Virginia to the National Harbor area in Maryland. Learn more about the new service.

Electronic next bus signs

Metro’s electronic Next Bus signs display real-time arrival information, route information, and Metro Alerts at more than 170 bus shelters throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia. See the bus signs in action by following this link.


To access the Metrobus timetables, follow this link.