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Taking the Bus in Washington, D.C.

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, Md.; and Prince George’s County, Md. 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(R) card.

The D.C. metro area features many local bus networks that serve commuters who would otherwise not be able to get an easy ride through Metrobus, Metrorail, cross-county commuter buses, and commuter trains such as VRE and MARC.

SmarTrip(R) and SmartBenefits(R)

SmarTrip(R) is a convenient way to pay transit fares using a rechargeable plastic farecard. SmarTrip is accepted by Metrorail, Metrobus, most local bus systems, and some commuter buses such as PRTC OmniRide and Loudoun County Transit. All passengers need to do is touch the farebox with a SmarTrip card while getting aboard.

SmartBenefits(R) is a program that allows employers to assign commuting benefits directly to employees’ SmarTrip cards.

Local Bus Systems

The bus systems listed below are operated by local jurisdictions. In the close-in suburbs of Washington, D.C., these local bus systems supplement Metrobus, the area’s regional bus system.

ART - Arlington Transit: ART operates within Arlington County, providing access to Metrorail and supplementing Metrobus with smaller, neighborhood-friendly vehicles. SmarTrip(R) accepted.

CUE - Fairfax City: The Cue Bus runs seven days a week within the City of Fairfax. It also services the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metrorail Station and George Mason University. SmarTrip(R) accepted.

DASH - Alexandria: DASH operates within the City of Alexandria and connects with Metrobus, Metrorail, Virginia Railway Express, and the Fairfax Connector. DASH serves all Metrorail stations within the City of Alexandria and the Pentagon during morning and evening peak periods. SmarTrip(R) accepted.

DC Circulator: Designed to take you to Washington’s cultural, shopping, dining, and business destinations. The Circulator provides frequent service on several routes, and only costs $1. SmarTrip(R) accepted. One-day, three-day, and monthly passes are available at The Commuter Store and online from

Fairfax Connector: The Fairfax Connector bus system runs seven days a week with service throughout Fairfax County and to Metrorail Stations on the Orange, Blue and Yellow lines, including the Pentagon. SmarTrip(R) accepted.

Fredericksburg Regional Transit (FRED): FRED serves the Fredericksburg area.

King Street Trolley - Alexandria: Free service between the King Street Metro Station in Alexandria and Alexandria’s Potomac River waterfront.

Maryland Mass Transit Administration (MTA): Bus, light rail, and subway services in Maryland. SmarTrip(R) accepted. MTA issues an electronic farecard called “CharmCard(R)” which also works on systems that accept SmarTrip(R). MTA also operates commuter buses and MARC commuter rail; these systems do not accept SmarTrip or CharmCard(R).

OmniLink - PRTC Bus Service: Local bus service offered by the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC), serving Dale City, Dumfries, Manassas, Manassas Park, Quantico and Woodbridge. PRTC also offers commuter bus services from locations throughout Prince William County along the I-95 corridor and Manassas and Gainesville areas along the I-66 corridor. Destinations include the Mark Center, Pentagon, Crystal City, Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, Tysons Corner, downtown Washington, D.C., and the Washington Navy Yard. Midday service is also available on most routes.

Ride On: Montgomery County, Md. local bus service. SmarTrip(R) accepted.

RTA - Transit for Central Maryland: Fixed-route and paratransit service for Howard County, Anne Arundel County, City of Laurel, and northern Prince George’s County.

Shuttle-UM: The University of Maryland’s College Park campus provides shuttle, charter, paratransit, NITE Ride and taxi services.

TheBus: Weekday service between Upper Marlboro and Metrorail Stations in Prince Georges County, MD. SmarTrip(R) accepted.

Commuter Bus Systems

Commuter buses featuring longer rides, picking up passengers from their home cities outside the Beltway, taking them into the D.C. area in the morning and returning them in the evening. These bus journeys can last more than an hour, usually make only a few stops, and link up with other transit systems or park-and-ride lots on each end of the commute.

Loudoun County Transit: Weekday morning and late afternoon rush hour bus service from park and ride lots in Loudoun County to destinations that include Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station, Rosslyn, Crystal City, the Pentagon and Washington, DC. SmarTrip(R) accepted.

Maryland Transit Association (MTA) Commuter Bus: Commuter Bus connects thousands of Maryland’s suburban residents with jobs in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Commuter Bus operates weekdays during morning and evening rush hours, and is managed by private contractors with oversight from the MTA.

PRTC - OmniRide: Express bus services from the Manassas, Dale City, Triangle, Dumfries and Lake Ridge areas. Destinations include Crystal City, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., and Tysons. Service is also provided between OmniRide locations in Prince William County and Franconia/Springfield Metrorail and Tysons Corner Metrorail stations. SmarTrip(R) accepted.