Metro News Release

For immediate release: May 16, 2013

Metro to launch unlimited "short trip" Metrorail pass on SmarTrip cards

Metro's $35 seven-day "short trip" pass is coming to SmarTrip cards starting Monday, May 20.

The upgrade will allow SmarTrip users to purchase and load short trip passes from the convenience of their computer. Previously, the short trip pass was available only as a paper fare card. This meant that riders had to stop at a fare vending machine to purchase the pass, or have the paper pass mailed to them. By launching the short trip pass as a SmarTrip product, riders can load a new pass onto their SmarTrip card at, in addition to purchasing the pass at a fare vending machine.

Short Trip Pass Quick Facts

  • Cost $35
  • Pass is valid for seven days from first use. It expires at the end of the seventh operating day.
  • Good for unlimited Metrorail trips valued up to $3.50 during peak periods
  • Good for unlimited Metrorail trips of any value during off-peak times
  • During peak periods, the short pass can be used for longer trips (greater than $3.50), but the passenger must pay the difference.

The "short trip" pass is a good option for riders who take frequent trips between nearby stations -- or any combination of trips where the fare is less than $3.50 during peak periods.

Short trip pass users can take peak-period trips that cost more than $3.50 by paying the applicable difference in fare. For example, someone who normally travels from Bethesda to Metro Center ($3.35 peak fare) can use the pass for unlimited trips at all times because the fare is less than $3.50. If the rider decided to take a trip from Bethesda to Union Station ($3.65 peak fare), he or she must pay an addition 15 cents. Previously, the additional fare payment required a stop at the Exitfare machine each time prior to leaving the system. Monday's launch of the short trip pass on SmarTrip makes this process much more convenient by automatically deducting the difference from the rider's "stored value" (cash) on the same SmarTrip card.

Riders can purchase a seven-day short trip pass for their SmarTrip card online at or at a Farecards and Passes machine at any Metrorail station entrance.

Metro will discontinue sales of the paper version of the short-trip pass after May 31, 2013.

Notes: A passenger cannot have a negative stored-value balance to enter the system with a short trip pass; entry using this pass requires a zero or positive stored value balance.  Consistent with other multi-day passes, the 7-day short trip pass is not eligible for transfer discounts between bus and rail.  Metrorail trips that include a transfer between Farrragut North and Farragut West stations (Farragut Crossing virtual tunnel) will be calculated as two separate trips.

News release issued at 12:19 pm, May 16, 2013.