If you ride Metro, you are probably aware of the SelectPass option that allows riders to get unlimited train rides during the month for a flat fee.

The pass is priced based on 18 “trips” or 36 total rides, so it’s a pretty good deal if you intend to ride more often than that.

SelectPass makes sense for a lot of people, but not everyone. Let’s take a look at who would benefit from the pass and who wouldn’t.

SelectPass DOES Make Sense If:

You Commute Most Days on Metrorail

The cost of SelectPass is based on 36 trips, or 18 round-trip journeys on Metro trains. So once you make that many trips, you are essential traveling for free. If you commute nearly every weekday on Metro, it’s a no brainer. It even makes sense if you work from home occasionally, but if you do, consider adjusting to a lower fare point.

You Use Metro to Get Around Regularly

Even if you don’t use Metro for your commute, you might use it to get around the city for other reasons. You might use it to run errands, go see a show, or visit a friend across town. If you think you’ll make more than 18 trips during the month, it’s probably worth it.

SelectPass DOES NOT Make Sense If:

You Telecommute Regularly

The SelectPass price is based on average of four or five trips per week. If you head into the office only four days a week or even less, you may end up paying more with SelectPass. Even those riders whose employers let them have every other Friday off may find that it’s not worth it.

You Already Get Discounted Fare

Seniors and the disabled can already ride Metro trains for as little as $1.10. But the minimum cost for SelectPass is based on a $2 ride. Unless you are a very frequent rider, those with already discounted fares probably won’t benefit much from SelectPass.

You Are A Bus Commuter

At this point, SelectPass is largely geared toward rail commuters. There is no way to receive unlimited rides on Metro buses alone through SelectPass. However, there is one rail+bus option priced at $135, and another at $189.

You Go on an Extended Trip

If you are planning to be away from the Washington region for an extended period of time, you may have to crunch some numbers to see if SelectPass makes sense. Any trip longer than a week could mean you won’t ride Metro 36 times that month. If you plan to be away for that long, consider skipping the SelectPass purchase that month.


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