Monthly Unlimited Pass FAQs

What is the Monthly Unlimited Pass?

The Monthly Unlimited Pass allows you to ride Metrorail and Metrobus for one low price. Each pass is good for one calendar month. If your typical commute costs $3.40 during rush hour, simply select the pass level at that price. Take a longer trip every now and then? Just pay the difference with stored value on your SmarTrip card.

The pass is priced at a multiple of your typical Metrorail trip price, once you've completed 36 trips at that price, the balance of your trips that month are free. The more you ride, the more you save.

Metro offers the Monthly Unlimited Pass at every price point. All monthly passes include unlimited trips on Metrobus at no extra charge. On Metrobus Express and Airport (5A/B30) routes, the first $2 of fare is covered, pay any difference by your card's stored value. Monthly passes do not cover bus fare on regional buses including: ART, DC Circulator, CUE, DASH, Fairfax Connector, The Bus, and Ride On.

Unless you select Auto Reload at checkout, Monthly Unlimited Passes expire at the end of the month.

A pass loaded on a SmarTrip card from the 1st through the 15th of the current month is valid for that month. A pass loaded on a card from the 16th through the last day of the current month is valid for the following month.

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What do I do if I have a partially used Pass on my Smartrip?

Please call SmarTrip Customer Service at 888-SMARTRIP (888.762-7874) to let us know. Metro is closely following the COVID-19 public health emergency and will announce credit plans for our customers once Metro service returns back to normal.

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What other passes does Metro offer?

Metro offers a variety of passes depending on your needs:

  • 7-Day Unlimited Pass provides travel for 7 consecutive days regardless of trip length/cost. $58.
  • 7-Day Short Trip Pass offers travel for trips with a fare $3.85 or less for 7 consecutive days. $38.
  • 7-Day Regional Bus Pass offers regular route travel on Metrobus and other jurisdictional bus services including: ART, DC Circulator, CUE, DASH, Fairfax Connector, The Bus, and Ride On for 7 consecutive days. $15.
  • 3-Day Unlimited Pass provides travel on Metrorail for 3 consecutive days regardless of trip length/cost. $28.
  • 1-Day Unlimited Pass provides travel for 1-day regardless of trip length/cost. $13.
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Will I be charged if I have Auto Reload turned on for my Pass?

Metro does not charge for passes until the pass is loaded onto the SmarTrip. Passes are only loaded when your SmarTrip is tapped at a fare machine, Metrorail fare gate or Metrobus fare box. As long as you DO NOT tap your SmarTrip, the pass will not load and you will not be charged.

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How can I buy a Monthly Unlimited Pass?

The Monthly Unlimited Pass is sold exclusively via the online store, and customers need a debit or credit card to purchase. New customers must create an online account and register a SmarTrip card. The pass cannot be purchased at fare vending machines inside Metrorail stations or Retail and Commuter Stores.

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Should I cancel my Auto Reload?

It is not necessary to cancel your auto reload. If you DO NOT tap your card, the pass will not load and you will not be charged. However, if you must use Metro on a limited basis for essential trips, it is recommended you cancel auto reload and use stored value. You may then reactivate auto reload once normal business resume.

Customers with auto reload for stored value (not a pass product) do not need to cancel as your card is not charge until your balance falls below your designated threshold. If you are not using they system, your balance remains the same and the auto-reload will not be triggered.

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How do I use SmartBenefits to purchase Metro's Monthly Unlimited Pass?

Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Contact the transit benefits administrator at your employer before your organization's SmartBenefits order deadline and ask to have your benefits allocated to the Transit Pass Benefit.
  2. On the first of the following month, log in to your SmarTrip account and follow the instructions on the second page of this PDF to use your Transit Pass Benefit to purchase a pass. If you ride Metrorail, the pass will typically load to your card four hours after you purchase it. If you ride Metrobus, the pass will typically load the day after you purchase it.
  3. Sign up for auto reload. Even though reloads are triggered three days before the start of the month, you will not be charged for the pass until your benefits become available on the first of the month. Auto reload ensures that your pass will be ready for your first trip of each month.
  4. Please Note: Even if you are buying a pass using SmartBenefits, you will be asked for a credit or debit card number when signing up for auto reload. The card will only be charged if you have insufficient benefits funds to cover the auto reload pass purchase.
  5. Read more about SmartBenefits.

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I've already cancelled my Auto Reload online; do I need to tap my SmarTrip?

Some of you may have received an email asking to tap your SmarTrip to finalize the cancellation. However, you do not need to tap, as your Auto Reload cancellation has been processed.

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If I buy the Monthly Unlimited Pass with SmartBenefits and my "usual trip" is more than the pass value, will the difference be paid from my transit benefits or from my own stored value?

If you take a trip that's more expensive than the pass's trip value or on a regional bus, any additional fare is paid via your SmarTrip card stored value or transit benefits purse (if applicable).

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When should I reactivate my Auto Reload?

Customers who have already cancelled auto reload for their pass should re-activate auto reload once their commute returns to normal. Those who usually purchase an Unlimited Monthly Pass may wish to use Stored Value and wait to reinstate their pass for the following month, if they are unable to get a full-month's use of the pass.

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What happens if I try to take a longer trip than my usual fare and I don’t have stored value?

If you don't have enough stored value to cover your trip, you will have add money to your card at the Exit Fare machine before you can exit. To avoid this situation, sign up for stored value auto reload. Auto reload allows you to set up stored value so that funds can be automatically reloaded to your SmarTrip card if you take a trip longer than your usual fare.

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What if I lose my SmarTrip® card containing my Monthly Unlimited Pass?

If you lose your SmarTrip card, call 1-888-SMARTRIP (1-888-762-7874). A pro-rated refund will be applied to your card.

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How does auto reload work?

Auto reload allows you to set up stored value and pass products so they can be automatically reloaded to your SmarTrip® when your funds run low or your pass is about to expire. You choose how much stored value and what pass products you want to set up to auto reload.

The auto reload feature is available for a selected set of fare products. In your SmarTrip account shopping cart, you will see a box to check to use auto reload if it is available for your product.
Use Auto Reload

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How do I cancel auto reload?

You may request a cancellation at any time. To do so: Login to your SmarTrip® Account, then:

  • Click on the card that you have set up with an auto reload product.
  • On the View Card Summary page, locate the Current Auto Reloads section.>/li>
  • Click the "Details/Edit/Cancel" link next to the auto reload stored value that you want to cancel.
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