Metrorail 15-Minute Grace Period

Starting July 1 2016, WMATA will implement a grace period for customers that enter and exit the same rail station in 15 minutes or less.

Here is how it works

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 the fare they were charged.

  • Customers who enter from one mezzanine and exit from another at the same station are still eligible for the credit.
  • Customers using rail passes are ineligible because they do not pay on an individual trip basis.

Customers who pay their fare with stored value will receive a credit to their SmarTrip® card within 72 hours of their grace period transaction.

  • The credit will be delivered to your SmarTrip® card in the form of an Autoload.
  • If you transfer from rail to bus, a second adjustment will be made to your SmarTrip® card.
    • The bus transfer discount will be deducted because no rail trip was taken.
    • However, no deduction will be made if, for example, you arrived at the rail station on a bus and were still within the two-hour free transfer window.
        (see Bus Transfers)
  • Like normal autoload transactions, grace period credits that are not retrieved in 30-days will expire.

Customers who pay their fare with SmartBenefits® will see a credit for the entire prior month on the first of each month.

  • Ineligible bus transfers will be deducted from the credit.
  • The remaining balance will be rounded up to the nearest dollar.
  • The credit will be used before the customer's normal SmartBenefits® allotment is used.
  • Any retrieved SmartBenefit® credit that is unused at month end will also expire.
  • This approach complies with IRS regulations.

If you need additional information

  • To see balance details and track fare credits and adjustments customers must create an account and register their SmarTrip® cards  here, and then click on the View Product Delivery History link.
  • Contact SmarTrip® Customer Service at or 888-SMARTRIP (888-762-7874)