Metro Service and Severe Weather

Snow covered Metrorail station

Many people rely on Metro to get where they need to go, regardless of the weather, which is why we do everything possible to provide safe and reliable transit service during inclement winter weather.

Metro has nearly 600 pieces of snow equipment available to tackle snow and ice accumulation at stations, rail yards, parking garages, and bus facilities. Hundreds of employees and contractors can be called upon to respond to snow conditions.

During periods of severe weather, Metro may limit or curtail service for safety reasons. Review the information below to know what to expect.

What to Expect During a Winter Storm

Metrorail

Metrorail can operate very close to a normal schedule in snowfall of up to six inches. However, once snow reaches a height of about eight inches, it may be necessary to suspend service above ground. Underground-only operation PDF allows for continuous connections to key activity centers in downtown Washington and the Pentagon, and helps ensure a more rapid return of full service by protecting rail cars from weather-related damage and allowing crews to focus on clearing snow from above-ground tracks. For more information, see Metrorail Snow Service.

Metrobus

During inclement weather, Metrobus service may be modified as local road conditions deteriorate. Metrobus will first reduce service, then limit service to snow emergency routes. If snow accumulates to unsafe levels or road conditions are impassable, Metro will halt all bus service until it is safe to resume service. Metrobus has worked with local jurisdictions to identify snow emergency routes that need to be plowed to maintain bus service to as many communities as possible.

Metrobus will provide regular service in one to two inches of snow, but some routes that operate on hills, curves, and narrow streets may be detoured. With two to four inches of snow, freezing rain or ice, Metrobus may reduce service, widening intervals between buses. Four to eight inches of snow will lengthen intervals between buses even further. With eight inches or more of snow, Metrobus will run minimal bus service only. When road conditions become unsafe, Metrobus will curtail all service. For more information, see Metrobus Snow Service.

MetroAccess

MetroAccess will operate during inclement weather, but service will be modified throughout the day as road and walkway conditions deteriorate causing unsafe conditions. If roadways or walkways become unsafe, MetroAccess will suspend operations until it is safe to resume service.

Stay Informed During Winter Weather Events

  • Subscribe to MetroAlerts to receive email or text messages notifying you of Metrorail, Metrobus, and MetroAccess service disruptions.
  • Follow Metro on Twitter.
  • Visit wmata.com before you start your trip.
  • Call the Metro Customer Information Center at 202-637-7000.
  • Listen to radio or television traffic reports.

Winter Travel Tips

  • Before you start your trip, find out how Metro is serving your area and don't let yourself get stranded once you're out.
  • Dress warmly. You may be outside longer than normal.
  • Do not stand in the street while waiting for a bus.
  • Use extreme caution when walking on exposed surfaces, including parking lots and station platforms. Never run for a bus or train.
  • Report any unsafe conditions to a Metro employee.

Sign Up For Regional eAlert Messages

Metrorail Snow Service

rail iconFor a map and information on how Metrorail operates during a snow event, please visit our Metrorail Snow Service page.

Metrobus Snow Route Maps

bus iconFor route descriptions and maps of service during snow events, please visit our Metrobus Snow Service page.

Snow Photos & Video

Metro - Your Safe and Easy Ride video

Snow Gallery

View Metro's collection of snow photos.


Metrorail in snow
Metrobus in snow

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