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News: National Capital Region

May 2018

New SmartBenefits FAQ

Q: Why is my SmartBenefits balance less than expected this month?

A: The participant may have received a Rush Hour Promise Credit or 15 Minute Grace Period Credit in addition to their normal SmartBenefits. Participants receive their accumulated credits for the prior month on the first day of the new benefit month. The credit is displayed and used beforetheir normal SmartBenefits are displayed and used. Your participant can log in to their SmarTrip Online account to confirm that they have received both a credit and their normal SmartBenefits.

January 2018


On January 8, 2018 Metro's fare system will no longer allow customers to carry a negative balance on a SmarTrip card for Metrobus and Metrorail. 

Riders entering the Metrorail system should load sufficient funds for their trip prior to entering the system. If a SmarTrip card does not have enough funds to pay for the trip, the faregate will not open and the customer will be directed to an Exitfare machine.

July 2017


Effective June 25th, MTA Maryland’s single-trip fare has increased from $1.70 to $1.80 for Local Bus, Light Rail, Metro Subway and Mobility/Paratransit. The percent increase in the single-trip fare is used to calculate the increase in MDOT MTA’s multi-use day, weekly and monthly passes. For more information about the increase, please visit the Maryland MTA website or view new fare chart.


VRE increases fares by 3%, effective July 1, 2017. View the full fare chart here.


WMATA announced new hours of operation, fare increases, and new service schedules effective

June 25, 2017. For more details visit WMATA’s website.

December 2016


Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has implemented a grace period for customers that enter and exit the same rail station in 15 minutes or less. Customers that tap in and out of the same station within 15 minutes, and do not use a rail pass, will receive a trip credit in the amount of fare they were charged. Customers who pay their fare with stored value will receive a credit to their SmarTrip® card within 72 hours of their grace period transaction. Customers who pay their fare with SmartBenefits® will see a credit for the entire prior month on the first of each month.

*REMINDER: TRANServe Debit Cards should not be used on WMATA, doing so is in violation of IRS and OMB guidance regarding transit benefits.

October 2016

Metro Buys New Rail Cars

More than half of Metro’s rail cars will be replaced within the next five years. The new cars are safer and have better doors, digital signage, cameras and automated station announcements. Metro said that it expects to get its first four pilot cars of the 7000 series within a few months and that it plans to use those rail cars for testing and training. Metro also unveiled a newer version of its subway map, which now shows the Silver Line.

*Reminder: With the Holiday season fast approaching, MARC/VRE & MTA riders should consider buying ten ride tickets if expecting to be on leave.

July 2016

In the Nations Capital there are multiple transit options, but only two ways to receive your transit benefit. The two options are WMATA’s SmarTrip® Card and the TRANServe Debit Card.

SmarTripTRANServe Debit Card
The BusKeller
Arlington TransitAmtrak
CUE FairfaxMARC Train
DC CirculatorVPSI Vanpool
Fairfax ConnectorNational Coach Works
Quick's BusMARTZ
Loudon Community BusMetro Access
Montgomery County Ride OnPrivate Vanpools
Updated: Friday, June 29, 2018
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