MetroAccess Customer Guide

Audio version of the MetroAccess Customer Guide

MetroAccess Customer Guide Cover 2017

Revised November 2015


What Is MetroAccess?

MetroAccess is a shared ride public transportation service for people who are unable to use fixed-route public transit due to disability. "Shared ride" means that multiple passengers may ride together in the same vehicle.

The service provides daily trips throughout the Transit Zone in the Washington Metropolitan region. The Transit Zone consists of the District of Columbia, the suburban Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George's, the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington and Fairfax, and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church. Rides are offered in the same service areas and during the same hours of operation as Metrorail and Metrobus. MetroAccess is a service of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro), and is the region's complementary paratransit service offered in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Learn more about the ADA.

Go to top

Customer Bill of Rights

As a MetroAccess customer, you have a right to:

  • Be picked up on time within a 30 - minute window.
  • Be transported in a safe manner.
  • Be treated with courtesy and respect.
  • Travel in a clean, well-maintained vehicle.
  • Be heard and expect Metro to investigate, address, and resolve concerns or complaints.
  • Have calls answered promptly and courteously.
  • Receive quality transportation services that are equivalent to those offered on Metrobus and Metrorail.

Go to top

Customer Responsibilities

  • Be ready for pick-up throughout the pick-up window of the scheduled trip.
  • Display your valid MetroAccess ID Card to the driver before boarding the vehicle.
  • Pay exact fare before boarding the vehicle.
  • Treat drivers, other riders, and MetroAccess staff with respect.
  • Keep personal assistance devices in good condition and be able to operate without driver intervention.
  • Make sure ramps, sidewalks, and walkways are properly maintained and clear of snow and ice.
  • Wear required vehicle restraints at all times during transport.
  • Keep service animals under control at all times.
  • Cancel reservations two or more hours before the scheduled pick-up.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke in a MetroAccess vehicle.
  • Maintain good personal hygiene.
  • Do not engage in disruptive or abusive behavior.
  • Provide up-to-date information to the Transit Accessibility Center for updates, including your home address, phone number, types of mobility aids you use, and your accessible format needs.

Go to top

Fares and Service Area

MetroAccess fares are two times the fastest comparable fixed-route fare, with a maximum fare of $6.50. The lowest available fare 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the requested pick-up time will be provided during the booking process. Customers are required to pay the fare to the driver prior to boarding the vehicle. Exact fare is required. Drivers do not carry or make change.

Customers are encouraged to pre-pay for trips using a credit/debit card or cash with MetroAccess EZ-Pay.  For more information, see the EZ-Pay section.

Customers may take trips that begin and end 3/4 of a mile or less from the nearest bus stop or Metrorail station in the Transit Zone. The Transit Zone consists of the District of Columbia, the suburban Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George's, the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington and Fairfax, and  the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church.

The reservations agent will inform you of your total fare at the time you book your trip. You can pay your fare in advance with MetroAccess EZ-Pay or prior to boarding using cash.

Please see the EZ-Pay section for more information on pre-payment of your trips.

Fare Payment Policy

Full and exact payment of MetroAccess fares is required for all trips. Payment should be pre-paid through EZ-Pay or presented in exact change, without request, to MetroAccess operators before a customer or their PCA and/or companions board the vehicle.

Go to top

Service Hours

MetroAccess operates 7 days a week, 365 days a year,  providing service within a three-quarter mile corridor around existing fixed-route services  such as Metrobus, Metrorail, and jurisdictional bus services, at least during all  hours of operation that service is operated on these modes.

Please check with a MetroAccess reservations agent at 301-562-5360 to verify service availability in your area for the day and time you wish to travel.

Go to top

Contacting Us

The following are important telephone numbers and options to contact MetroAccess. Calls are answered in the order in which they are received. Once you have selected your option, please stay on the line. Customers may also use InstantAccess, the MetroAccess automated telephone system that allows riders to confirm or cancel their MetroAccess trips as well as access customer account information using a keypad on any touch-tone telephone. This system is available 24-hours a day.

Main Phone Number: 301-562-5360
  TTY: 301-588-7535

Option 1 To schedule a trip
Option 2 To check on the status of your scheduled trip
Option 3 To confirm or cancel a trip
Option 4 To use the automated EZ-Pay system
Option 5 To speak with the no-show/late cancellation review  team
Option 6 Utilize InstantAccess to verify customer account information
Option 7 For answers to frequently asked questions
Option 8 For information about applying for MetroAccess, resetting  your InstantAccess password or if you have a lost or stolen MetroAccess ID card
Option 9 To learn how to file a commendation or complaint about MetroAccess service

Go to top

How and When to Schedule a Trip

To schedule a trip, call MetroAccess at 301-562-5360 and press 1 for Reservations or TTY 301-588-7535.

Reservations agents are available seven days a week between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Customers may schedule a trip between one and seven days in advance of the desired travel date. MetroAccess does not provide same-day service.

Be prepared to give the reservation agent the exact addresses of your pick-up and drop-off locations. If your pick-up location is at a building with more than one entrance, please indicate which entrance you will use.

Tell the reservation agent if you will be riding with a mobility aid, companion or personal care assistant (PCA). If travelling with a PCA/companion, please also notify the reservations agent if your PCA/companion will be travelling with a mobility aid.

MetroAccess highly recommends customers provide a phone number where they may be contacted in case of a delay or problem with their ride.

Online Reservations

Registered MetroAccess customers may also book or cancel trips on the Metro website. Use your MetroAccess customer ID number to log in. Your password is your eight-digit date of birth (for example, if your birthday is July 2, 1983, your password will be 07021983). If you have trouble changing your password, please contact the Transit Accessibility Center.

Go to top

Scheduling Tips

  • Arrange your return trip at the same time you make a reservation for pick-up.
  • If you need to arrive at your destination no later than a specific time, please tell the reservation agent you would like to book your trip by appointment time. Please take into account for traffic, shared ride with other customers, and other possible delays when booking by appointment time.
  • If MetroAccess is unable to provide a trip at the time you request, the agent will help you select another time within 30 minutes before or after your originally requested time.
  • Provide as much information as possible that can assist the driver in locating your exact pick-up or drop- off location. For example, appropriate entrance, color or type of building, store name, or any other specific description.  This information should be kept to no more than 64 typed characters or the equivalent of one short sentence.
  • All trips are treated with equal priority. For example, a trip going to a sporting event has the same priority as a trip going to a dialysis treatment.
  • Please provide a telephone number at which you may be reached at time of pick-up.
  • MetroAccess does not provide vehicle choice.

Go to top

Trip Confirmation Number

When your reservation has been made, the agent will read back your trip itinerary and give you a trip confirmation number. When booking online, the trip confirmation number is the same as the trip identification number. Please make sure your trip is scheduled properly.

Make note of the confirmation number. This is the number you will be asked to provide if there is a problem with your scheduled trip or if you need to modify or cancel your reservation.

Go to top

How to Cancel a Trip

Customers are expected to cancel trips at least two hours before the beginning of their pick-up window. Trips not cancelled within two hours are subject to the no­show/late cancellation policy. You may cancel a trip by doing one of the following:

  • Use the Internet anytime. Use your MetroAccess customer ID number to login. Your password is your eight-digit date of birth (for example, if your birthday is July 2, 1983, your password will be 07021983).
  • Use InstantAccess, MetroAccess automated telephone system, anytime. Call 301-562-5360 and press option 3 for lnstantAccess. Use your MetroAccess ID number as your user name. Your birth date (mm/dd/yyyy) is your password unless you change it.
  • Call a reservation agent seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call MetroAccess at 301-562-5360 and press 1 for Reservations. Give the agent information about each trip you want to cancel.

Go to top

EZ-Pay Is a Better Way to Pay

With EZ-Pay, you can prepay your MetroAccess fare by phone and internet, with a credit/debit card, or in person with cash and credit card at the Metro Center Sales Office.

You can also review your trip history online, and any trip credits that you received will be credited to your account electronically. Take advantage of the convenience and security of EZ-Pay. Simply prepay with EZ­Pay, then show your MetroAccess photo ID to the driver when you board the vehicle.

EZ-Pay Works with SmartBenefits®

If you receive a transit benefit through your employer's SmartBenefits® program, you can  direct your monthly transit benefit to MetroAccess. At the beginning of each month, you can call or log in to your EZ-Pay account to review your balance and transaction history. To direct your transit benefits to MetroAccess through your EZ-Pay account, you must have a registered SmarTrip® card and be enrolled in SmartBenefits®. For more information on SmartBenefits®, contact your employer or transit benefit provider.

Managing Your Account

With EZ-Pay, you can add money to your account whenever you want and keep track of the balance on your account. MetroAccess customer service representatives can also provide you with account information when you call to schedule a trip.

Funds must be available in your account prior to making a reservation for your trip to pay with EZ-Pay. Money is deducted from your EZ-Pay account at the time you book your trip, NOT when you actually take the trip. For subscription riders, funds need to be available in your account eight (8) days prior to your subscription trip(s), since subscription trips are automatically reserved in the system a week prior to the actual day of travel.

Subscription trips are automatically cancelled for all federal holidays. Please note if you re-book your trip(s) for travel on a federal holiday, funds will need to be available prior to booking your trip(s). If funds are not available in your EZ-Pay account at the time of booking, you will be required to pay the driver in cash prior to boarding the vehicle.

Go to top

Access your Account By Phone:

  1. Call MetroAccess at 301-562-5360 and select option 4 for your EZ-Pay account.
  2. You will be forwarded to the EZ-Pay system where you will be prompted    to log in.   
    • Enter your MetroAccess customer ID, followed by the # key.
    • Enter your MetroAccess password followed by the # key. Your default password is your eight-digit date of birth.
  3. Once your login ID is confirmed, the system will announce your MetroAccess EZ-Pay account balance. Please note that the balance reflects trips booked but not yet taken. When you book a trip, the amount of the fare will be deducted from the balance at that time. If you subsequently cancel the trip, the fare will be automatically refunded to your account immediately.
  4. Press 1 to add value to your EZ-Pay account using your Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover card.
  5. Press 2 to hear your EZ-Pay account balance again.
  6. Press 4, then 2 to speak to a representative.

Go to top

Access Your Account By Internet:

  1. Go to the MetroAccess Web booking site.
  2. Log in to your MetroAccess EZ-Pay    Account.   
    • Your login ID is your MetroAccess customer ID number.
    • Your default password is your eight-digit date of birth.
  3. Once you've successfully logged in, select from the following options: View Balance, View Transactions, Add Value or Log Out.
  4. Select View Balance to display the current balance on your account. Please note that the balance reflects trips that have been booked but not yet taken. When you book a trip, the amount of the fare will be deducted from the balance at that time. If you subsequently cancel the trip, the fare will be automatically refunded to your account immediately.
  5. Select View Transactions and then enter a date range to display a description of your transactions. Keep in mind that the transaction date is the date you booked the trip. To view booked trips that have been cancelled, select the "Display all transactions" checkbox.
  6. Select Add Value to add value to your EZ-Pay account using your Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover card. Enter the value you want to add, your credit card information, and billing address. Once you complete the purchase, the value will appear immediately in your transactions list.
  7. When you are finished adding value to your EZ-Pay account or reviewing your account balance and transactions, click Log Out.

Go to top

Access Your Account In Person:

  1. Go to the Metro Center Sales Office in the Metro Center Metrorail station, 12th and F Streets, NW, Washington, DC. The sales office is open 8 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday.
  2. Tell the sales agent that you would like to add money to your MetroAccess EZ-Pay account. Please note that the balance provided to you by the agent reflects trips that have been booked but not yet taken.
  3. Show your MetroAccess photo ID to the sales agent. Cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover are accepted. When paying with a credit card, you must provide an email address to the sales agent.

Go to top

Subscription Service

Do you take the same trip on the same day of the week, at the same time, between the same addresses? For example, do you have a consistent doctor's appointment or travel to work? If so, you might qualify for MetroAccess subscription service. Once your subscription service is established, you will not have to call and schedule these pre-arranged trips. Established subscription service creates the foundation for our scheduling process. To qualify for subscription service, customers must demonstrate their travel is consistent. Please note that for subscription trips, money is deducted from your account seven days in advance of the actual trip. Please ensure to have sufficient funds in your EZ-Pay account.

The terms and conditions of the  MetroAccess Subscription Policy are as follows:

  1. Customers must demonstrate travel to the destination consistently over a 30-day period before subscription service can begin.  This means customers must travel to the same destination, with similar pick-up and drop-off times, at least once a week, for a 30- day period.
  2. Customers are allowed to modify their subscription trips once every 30 days in the following ways: comment section, pick-up time, appointment time and phone number. Modifications to pick-up time will be negotiated per the regular MetroAccess reservations process.
  3. If the destination and/or origin address changes, the customer has to cancel their current subscription and a new subscription must be implemented. The customer must again demonstrate a pattern of the new subscription, as described above, before it is approved.
  4. If you cancel 25% or more of your subscription trips within a 30-day period, it may result in the cancellation of subscription service.
  5. Subscription service will be automatically cancelled on all federal holidays.
  6. Subscription service may take up to seven business days to start. Until subscription service begins, established customers must continue to book trips individually for their travel. Trips may be booked with Reservations from one to seven days in advance.
  7. Subscription service may be placed on hold for a maximum of 30 days within a rolling 90-day period. The exact same subscription must be implemented, or it will be treated as a new subscription. Subscriptions that have been inactive for longer than 30 days may be cancelled. The customer is responsible for re-booking inactive subscription trips. If re-booking a previously existing subscription after 30 days and the subscription is identical to the original, the 30-day travel demonstration is not required.

To request a subscription, call MetroAccess at 301-562-5360 and press 1 for Reservations (TTY 301-588-7535). Tell the reservations agent that you would like to request subscription service.

Go to top

Door-to-Door Service

For the safety of our customers, MetroAccess provides door-to-door service. Door-to-door service means that MetroAccess drivers escort customers from the outermost exterior door of the customer's pick-up address and onto the vehicle, and from the vehicle to the outermost exterior door of the customer's drop-off address. Door-to-door service is provided wherever it is safe to do so. If your driver is unable to deliver door-to-door service, you will be called to come out to meet the vehicle at the curb. This can occur because of continuously changing conditions, like traffic or construction.  Customers should be present at the outermost exterior door with a valid MetroAccess ID Card and exact fare, and be ready to board the vehicle when their pick-up window begins. Upon arrival, if the customer is not present for boarding at the curb, the driver will proceed to the door.

Upon arriving at the door for a pick-up, drivers will knock and identify themselves as "MetroAccess". Customers are to display a valid MetroAccess ID Card and pay exact fare before boarding the vehicle. At public entrances, drivers may open the first exterior door to announce their arrival; however, they may not enter the building.

If the entrance has a second door within the location that leads to a waiting area, drivers may open the second door to announce their arrival, but will not proceed into the waiting area. Drivers are not permitted to open doors at private locations or residences.

To receive door-to-door service, the following conditions must be met:

  • The outermost exterior door must be no more than 150 feet from the vehicle.
  • The driver must be able to maintain sight of the vehicle at all times.
  • There must be a direct accessible path and safe access from the vehicle to the door.
  • There must be safe parking on a public roadway or public parking lot.
  • The parked vehicle must not block or impede traffic.

If any of these conditions are not met, the location is considered non-serviceable for door-to-door and the driver will render curb-to-curb service at the identified location. Customers will be expected to meet the driver at the curb for curb-to-curb service. For curb-to-curb service, customers are responsible for getting to and from the curb at the pick-up and drop­off location by themselves. If a driver is at a location that is non-serviceable for door­to-door service, the driver must contact the Call Center to report to the dispatcher the reason door-to-door service cannot be provided. Dispatch will attempt to contact the customer. Upon doing so, the customer will be advised of the situation and asked to meet the vehicle at the curb.

Go to top

Your Pick-Up Window and When to Be Ready

MetroAccess schedules pick-ups within a 30-minute pick-up window to allow for traffic and other delays. Instead of giving you an exact time, we'll give you a 30-minute period during which your driver should arrive. For example, if you ask to be picked up at 8 a.m., your ride will be scheduled to arrive between 7:45 and 8:15 a.m.

Please be ready at the beginning of the pick-up window with a valid MetroAccess ID Card and exact fare to present to the driver. For example, if your pick-up window begins at 7:45 a.m., be ready at 7:45 a.m. If your driver arrives early, he or she is only required to wait five minutes into the pick-up window. For example, if your pick­ up window is from 7:45 to 8:15 a.m. and the driver arrives at 7:45 or earlier, you must present yourself for boarding by 7:50 a.m. The automated phone call upon arrival is a courtesy call and not guaranteed.

You are not required to board the vehicle until the pick-up window begins, but you may board the vehicle early if you wish. MetroAccess drivers carry ID badges that are to be visible at all times. If you ever doubt your driver's identity, call MetroAccess at 301-562-5360 and select option 2 to speak with a dispatcher.

Late Trip Credits

If your MetroAccess vehicle arrives after the end of your 30-minute pick-up window, we will issue two $3 late trip credits to your EZ-Pay account.  These credits are posted automatically on or around the 25th day of the following month in which the late trip occurred.  For example, if your late trip was on July 2, the credits would post on or around August 25.  Since these credits are posted automatically, there is no need to contact MetroAccess to receive your late trip credits.

Go to top

Vehicle Wait Time and Customer No-Shows

Drivers are required to wait for customers five minutes from arrival within the pick-up window at the pick-up location to present themselves for boarding. Upon arrival, drivers will proceed to the outermost exterior door and announce themselves. They will wait one minute at the door for the customer. If the customer is not present for boarding within that time, the driver will return to the vehicle and request that the MetroAccess Call Center begin the no­show authorization process.

Call Center personnel will then verify that the driver is at the correct location and make a good faith effort to call the customer before authorizing the driver to proceed to the next destination. If the customer can be reached and becomes available for boarding while the driver is still on site during this process, the driver will return to the door to assist the customer. Customers who are not ready for boarding upon the driver's arrival and are still not present at the end of the five­minute waiting period, will be considered a "No-Show" and will be subject to the terms and conditions of the MetroAccess Late Cancellation and No-Show Policy as described below:

In any calendar month, any customer who has booked ten trips or more and has "no­showed" or "late cancelled" at least 10% of those trips will receive a suspension notice.* Additionally, to ensure that only habitual offenders are suspended, a customer will have to accumulate three or more penalty points to receive a suspension. A customer will be subject to suspension only if both the minimum number of trips booked and the minimum number of penalty points are reached during the calendar month.

A "No-Show" occurs when a customer does not present themselves for boarding the vehicle within five minutes of the vehicle's arrival within the 30-minute pick-up window. Each No-Show is counted as one penalty point.

A "Late Cancellation" occurs when a customer cancels a trip less than two hours before the start of the 30-minute pick-up window. Each Late Cancellation is counted as one-half penalty point.

A "Cancellation at Door" is when a customer cancels a trip after the driver arrives. This includes cancelling via phone. Each Cancellation at Door is counted as one penalty point.

All suspension periods will begin on a Monday. The length of a customer's suspension will follow this schedule:

  • Upon a first violation in the calendar year, a customer receives a warning letter.
  • Second violation:
        7-day (1-week) suspension
  • Third violation:
        14-day (2-week) suspension
  • Fourth violation:
        21-day (3-week) suspensi
  • Fifth and subsequent violations:
    28-day (4-week) suspension

MetroAccess will retain records on customer compliance with this policy for the current calendar year. A warning letter and copy of this policy will be issued upon the first violation of the year.

Further violations of this policy will result in suspension, per the schedule.

If you no-show or late cancel because of circumstances beyond your control, please call the MetroAccess No-Show Team at 301-562-5360 (option 5) to explain the circumstance, and request the removal of the no-show or late cancellation. The hours of the No-Show Team are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Voice messages may be left for the No-Show Team 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

No-shows or late cancellations must be disputed within two business days after the end of the calendar month, in which they occur. Prior to sending a suspension letter, MetroAccess will review all no-shows and late cancellations to ensure that the process was followed properly and an accurate count was represented. Any no­show or late cancellation that is found to be in error will be removed from the customer's account.

If you dispute a suspension under this policy, you have the right to file an appeal. Appeal Requests must be filed in writing, by the deadline and per the instructions within the appeal packet. If you miss the Appeal Request deadline, your MetroAccess service will be suspended on the date listed on your MetroAccess Service Suspension Notice. A copy of the appeal process will be sent to you with your suspension letter.

Go to top

MetroAccess "No Strand" Policy

MetroAccess is committed to the safety and security of its customers. If we provide transportation for a customer to a given location, we will make every attempt to provide the return trip, even if the customer fails to appear for boarding within the scheduled pickup window. Return service will be provided as soon as possible but may be delayed depending upon prevailing traffic conditions and scheduling considerations.

If a customer is a no-show for a trip originating from their home, no vehicle will be sent back to the home to perform the trip. The exceptions to this policy include but are not limited to the following:

  • The customer booked a one way trip to a location and did not schedule a return trip.
  • The customer requests to disembark from the vehicle before reaching his/her destination.
  • The customer refuses to follow applicable operational and/or safety policies required for transport.
  • The customer demonstrates inappropriate, aggressive, threatening, or abusive behavior toward others.
  • At times when transportation is not possible due to weather conditions, Acts of God, acts of terrorism, civil disturbances, work stoppage or any other natural disaster outside of MetroAccess control that may cause the suspension of service.

Go to top

MetroAccess Photo ID Cards

Customers must carry their MetroAccess photo ID cards with them when using the service. You will be required to present your MetroAccess ID card whenever you board a MetroAccess vehicle. It is incumbent upon Metro to protect the rights and security of our MetroAccess customers by preventing misuse of the system.

What You Need to Know:

  • You are required to present your MetroAccess ID card before boarding all MetroAccess vehicles.
  • Your MetroAccess ID card is issued to you for your use only. Your MetroAccess ID card is not transferable. You may not give or lend your MetroAccess ID card to anyone. Your MetroAccess ID card allows you to travel aboard MetroAccess vehicles along with one Personal Care Assistant (PCA) who may accompany you free of charge.
  • MetroAccess customers who are conditionally eligible may travel aboard Metrobus or Metrorail free of charge. On Metrobus or Metrorail, you may be accompanied by one companion who may ride with you free of charge. Additional persons traveling with you are required to pay the standard fare. To take advantage of this benefit, you must present your MetroAccess ID card to the Metrobus operator or Metrorail station manager.
  • Misuse, alteration or counterfeiting of your MetroAccess ID card is a violation of the laws of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
  • If you lose your MetroAccess ID card or if it is stolen, you must report the loss immediately by calling 202-962-2700. Lost cards will be replaced for a fee. For the first replacement card, the fee is $10 and $25 for the second and subsequent replacement card. This fee is waived if the ID card was stolen and the customer can provide a police report which documents the theft. Additionally, the fee is waived if the ID card is worn or otherwise unserviceable, such as broken or cracked.
  • Customers can request a replacement ID in person on a walk-in basis at the Metro Transit Accessibility Center or in writing. When writing for the replacement card, write to:

    Metro Transit Accessibility Center
    600 5th Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20001

    Include your name, date of birth, address, contact phone number and MetroAccess ID number. Enclose the appropriate fee in the form of cashier's check or money order. Do not send cash through the mail. Your replacement ID card will be forwarded to the address provided.

Go to top

Seatbelt Securement Policy

For your safety and that of your fellow passengers, the MetroAccess Securement Policy requires all passengers to wear both the lap belt and shoulder belts at all times, while riding MetroAccess, in compliance with Metro policy and applicable state laws. The belts are designed to protect you and others, and to prevent injury.

State laws allow passengers with certain medical conditions to obtain a waiver from wearing the lap and/or shoulder belts, but only if their healthcare provider documents and certifies the medical reason why the lap belt or shoulder belt should not be worn. Those who apply for a waiver (and their doctors) will be fully informed of the safety risks to the customer, other passengers and MetroAccess drivers. Proper tie down of mobility devices is always mandatory, while the use of posey belts (those that fit around the passenger and mobility device) continues to be optional.

Waiver applications are available from the Office of Eligibility Certification and Outreach and are valid only upon verification by Metro. After verifying the application, we will make a notation of the exception which will appear in the driver's instructions.

All children seven years old and under must utilize a child safety seat during transport. The customer is responsible for providing and securing the car seat.

Passengers must comply with the MetroAccess Securement Policy, or have an exception on file with Metro, or they will not be transported. Drivers are not permitted to move the vehicle until all passengers are secured, and must stop the vehicle if belts are removed during travel.

For questions about the policy or to obtain a waiver application form, please email, or call 202-962-2700, option 5.

Go to top

Driver Assistance for Customers

MetroAccess drivers will provide the following assistance to customers:

  • Knock on the outermost exterior door and identify themselves as "MetroAccess". At public entrances, drivers may open the outermost exterior door to announce their arrival; however they may not enter the building. If the public entrance has a small vestibule with a second door nearby that leads to a waiting area, drivers may open the second door to announce their arrival, but will not proceed into the waiting area. Drivers are not permitted to open doors at private locations or residences.
  • Ask customers to show a valid MetroAccess ID card and collect full fare for trip.
  • Ask the customer "How may I assist you?" Offer the usage of a posey belt (safety belt for boarding and travel) to customers using a wheelchair or scooter.
  • Accompany and assist the customer along the entire path of travel between the first exterior door and the vehicle.
  • Guide customers who are blind or have low vision (per customer's approval/ request).
  • Maneuver the customer's manual wheelchair (per customer's approval/request).
  • Allow customers to hold the driver's arm for balance.
  • Carry a limited amount of packages for the customer, not to exceed 40 pounds, and capable being transported in a single trip to the exterior door.
  • Escort the customer on/off the vehicle, operate vehicle lift if required, and ensure proper securement of the customer (including seatbelt securement) and mobility devices. Posey belts are optional.

It is important to note that the driver is not a personal care assistant and is not permitted to provide assistance beyond what is outlined in this guide. Customers are responsible for making arrangements for any additional assistance.

Additionally, MetroAccess drivers are strictly prohibited from:

  • Entering or unlocking a customer's private residence at any time.
  • Assisting a customer using a wheelchair up or down steps or curbs.
  • Waiting with customers at their destination.
  • Handling a service animal.
  • Operating the controls of an electronically operated mobility device.
  • Making personal unscheduled stops at the request of the customer.

If You Need Additional Assistance

All customers have the right to travel with one personal care assistant (PCA) and should indicate their intent to do so when making a reservation. Depending on the nature and severity of one's disability, customers may require additional assistance from a PCA. Customers who cannot travel safely or comfortably without being accompanied by or met by a PCA must understand that MetroAccess drivers cannot fulfill PCA duties.

Some duties that may be performed by a PCA but not by a MetroAccess driver include and are not limited to:

  • Assisting a customer in removing a jacket and/or repositioning in a wheelchair.
  • Providing physical support for a customer to walk between the vehicle and the outermost exterior door of the pick-up or destination.
  • Assisting a customer with changing oxygen canisters.
  • Traveling with or meeting a customer who cannot be left unattended at the destination.
  • Traveling with customers who cannot be left unattended for a brief time on a MetroAccess vehicle without risk to themselves or others.
  • Assisting a customer who travels with a service animal but cannot board or disembark that animal from the vehicle without assistance.
  • Unlocking and/or opening the door to a customer's private residence.
  • Assisting a customer using a wheelchair in navigating up or down any steps or curbs to or from the MetroAccess vehicle.
  • Operating the controls of an electronically operated mobility device.

Go to top

What You May Bring with You

Life support equipment.
You may bring a respirator, portable oxygen or other life­ support equipment as long as it does not violate hazardous material transportation laws. The equipment must be small enough to fit into the vehicle and be secured. Customers must ensure that there is an adequate oxygen supply (3/4 or full) before boarding. Drivers are not authorized to operate life support equipment at any time.

Companions and personal care assistants PCAs).
Companions who are not PCAs may travel with a certified customer when space is reserved. Be sure to notify the reservations agent if a companion will ride with you and if your companion uses a wheelchair or scooter. Companions, including children age five and older, must pay the full fare. PCAs traveling with certified customers ride for free.

Service animals.
You may travel with a service animal, such as a guide dog or miniature horse. Snakes, birds or other exotic animals are not considered service animals under the ADA. Comfort or therapy animals, which are used solely to provide emotional support, are also not considered service animals under the ADA. Be sure to tell the reservation agent when scheduling your trip that you will be traveling with a service animal. There is no fee to bring your service animal. Your service animal must be under your control at all times and cannot ride on a MetroAccess seat. Your service animal can ride in an approved animal carrier or can ride on the floor at your feet. If your service animal displays any aggressive or disruptive behavior, MetroAccess can require that the animal be removed from the vehicle.

Go to top

MetroAccess Vehicles

MetroAccess has lift and ramp equipped vans. Taxicabs may also be used for MetroAccess service. MetroAccess does not accommodate requests for specific types of vehicles. Accessible vehicles are used to transport both ambulatory customers and customers who use wheelchairs/scooters requiring a lift to board a vehicle.

MetroAccess vans and lifts will hold wheelchairs and scooters up to 48" long and 30" wide. Mobility aids beyond these specifications might not be transportable. We reserve the right to refuse transport if unsafe. Examples of mobility aids that are not allowed on MetroAccess vehicles are shopping carts and "geri" chairs (chairs used in healthcare facilities to mobilize patients). For your safety, please make sure that brakes, batteries, and other parts on your wheelchair or mobility device are in good working condition.

If you need assistance boarding the vehicle, the driver will assist you. All drivers are trained to operate a wheelchair lift and the mobility aid securement devices. Ambulatory customers utilizing the vehicle lift should use provided hand rails for safe boarding.

Go to top

Direct Threat and Abusive Behavior

MetroAccess service may be suspended or terminated due to inappropriate, aggressive, threatening or abusive behavior toward other customers or MetroAccess employees; any illegal conduct; intentionally providing incorrect information during the reservation process such as the wrong customer name, ID, address, phone number, mobility device, or presence of PCA or companion(s); and non-payment of MetroAccess fare. Service suspensions may also result from abusive behaviors such as verbal assault, intentionally tying-up MetroAccess telephone lines and repeat violations of MetroAccess policies. This policy is not only limited to customers, but also to those acting on behalf of the customers, such as PCAs. If you dispute a suspension under this policy, you have the right to file an appeal. Appeal Requests must be filed in writing, by the deadline and per the instructions within the appeal packet. A copy of the appeal process will be sent to you with your suspension letter.

Go to top

Severe Weather or Hazardous Conditions

During severe weather, icy or otherwise hazardous road conditions or emergency situations, MetroAccess may make service modifications. Examples of severe weather or hazardous conditions are icy roads, snow accumulation, high winds and tornados. During severe weather or hazardous conditions, door-to-door service may revert to curb-to-curb service as needed. MetroAccess service changes due to severe weather will be announced on local radio, television, the MetroAccess phone system, MetroAlert messages and this website. Sign up for MetroAccess MetroAlerts.

Go to top

Lost and Found

MetroAccess is not responsible for lost or stolen items. If you believe you have lost something on MetroAccess, file a report through the customer comment process options listed below.

Go to top

Commendations, Suggestions, and Complaints

MetroAccess employees are trained to provide safe, reliable and courteous service. We always want to hear from our customers, whether it's a compliment, suggestion, or complaint.

To file a complaint or commendation regarding your MetroAccess service, please use our online customer comment form. You can also call 202- 637-0128 or TTY 202-962-2565. Agents are available weekdays (except holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Customers may also write to us at:

Office of MetroAccess Service
6505 Belcrest Road, Suite 501
Hyattsville, MD 20782

Go to top

Same-Day Accessible Rides on Metrobus, Metrorail, and Other Transit Providers

Metrobus, Metrorail and other transit providers offer accessible transportation for which no advanced planning or reservations are required. You might be able to take Metrobus or Metrorail for some of your trips or portions of trips.

Metro offers free system orientations to teach people with disabilities how to ride Metrobus and Metrorail. These orientations include trip-planning assistance and highlight the accessibility and safety features of the Metro system. To arrange for a free Metro system orientation or for more information about bus and rail accessibility, contact Metro's Office of ADA Policy and Planning (ADAP) at 202-962-1100 or TTY 202-962-2033.

Go to top

Free Rides for Conditionally Eligible MetroAccess Customers

MetroAccess customers who are conditionally eligible, who show a valid white MetroAccess ID, may ride for free (along with one companion) on Metrorail, Metrobus, and the following regional transit providers:

  • Arlington County ART
  • City of Fairfax CUE Bus
  • DC Circulator
  • Fairfax Connector
  • Montgomery County Ride On
  • Prince George's County TheBus

You do not need to schedule rides in advance when using these transit systems, giving you the flexibility to travel independently and spontaneously. For more information about regional transit providers who offer specialized transportation options for people with disabilities, visit, or contact them on their toll-free hotline at 855-732-2427. Using these services does not affect your eligibility to use MetroAccess.

Go to top

Frequently Asked Questions about MetroAccess