MetroAccess Eligibility Requirements

MetroAccess is the region's complementary paratransit service offered in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Unlike non-emergency medical transportation, MetroAccess is a shared ride public transportation service for people who are unable to use the accessible fixed-route Metrobus and Metrorail public transit due to disability.  MetroAccess can be used for any trip purpose within 3/4 of a mile of areas serviced by Metrobus and Metrorail, during the same hours of operation as regular Metrobus and Metrorail service. "Shared ride" means that multiple passengers may ride together in the same vehicle.

The service provides daily trips throughout the Washington Metropolitan region, including the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. 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).

To be eligible for MetroAccess service, an applicant must:

Have a disability as defined by the ADA, and be unable to utilize the Metrobus and Metrorail system some or all of the time as a result of their disability.

OR

Need to use a ramp or wheelchair lift to board or exit a public transit vehicle, but an accessible public transit vehicle is not being used at the time, date, and on the route you would travel. (All Metrobuses are wheelchair accessible.)

OR

Be unable to travel to or from a bus stop or rail station due to a disability, or an accessible pathway to a bus stop or rail station is not available.

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Applying for MetroAccess Service

To determine if a customer is eligible to use MetroAccess, an  application must be completed and  certified by a health care professional. You can obtain an application by:

  • downloading  online MetroAccess application PDF Icon. If  you have a visual disability and require a Microsoft Word version or large  print version of the application or an application in Spanish, simple Chinese, Korean or French,  please email eligibility@wmata.com or contact our  office so we can accommodate your request.
  • calling 202-962-2700 and select option 1  or TTY 202-962-2033 or
  • by email eligibility@wmata.com
  • by requesting in writing to:
    Metro Transit Accessibility Center
    600 Fifth Street,  NW
    Washington, DC 20001

The applicant must ensure that the healthcare provider documents all of their disability(ies)  and how it prevents them from using the accessible Metrobus or Metrorail systems. Please ensure to download the application only from the Metro web site. Outdated applications from external websites/agencies will not be accepted.  Please ensure to read and follow the instructions on page 2 of the application. The current application version is dated July 2012.

Once the application has been completed, please contact the Transit Accessibility Center at (202) 962-2700 and select option 5 to talk with one of our specialists, at which time an assessment appointment and interview will be scheduled.  Please do not mail or fax the application. Spanish applications are also available upon request. All assessments for MetroAccess eligibility are by appointment only.

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In-Person Interview and Assessment

The final stage in the application process is the in-person interview and functional assessment. The interview and assessment appointment will be conducted at our main headquarters building in Washington DC, where the applicant's independent travel skills and ability to use public transportation will be evaluated, including the ability to walk or travel a measured distance. During the interview, the applicant will also will be given information regarding Metro's Reduced Fare Program for Metrobus and Metrorail service.

  • If a mobility aid is used, it must be brought to the assessment, along with the completed original and signed application.
  • MetroAccess will provide transportation to the interview free of charge from all locations within the core service area. The specialist will inform the applicant when scheduling the appointment if the pick-up address falls within the core service area. Applicants also have the option of providing their own transportation to the appointment.
  • Once the assessment is complete, the applicant will receive written notification of the accessible travel option that best fits their travel needs within 7 to 10 business days after assessment. If it is determined that the applicant qualifies for MetroAccess, they will be mailed notification along with the appropriate MetroAccess Identification Card.    NOTE: The ADA requires Metro to provide notification of an applicant’s eligibility status within 21 days of submitting a completed application.  If, for any reason, it takes longer than that to process the determination, the applicant will be eligible to use MetroAccess until Metro completes the eligibility process. This is called "presumptive eligibility." If 21 days have passed since Metro received the completed application the applicant will be automatically granted eligibility for MetroAccess until the review process is completed.
  • If the applicant is found not eligible for paratransit services they may be eligible for the Reduced Fare Program for People with disabilities. If eligible they will be automatically enrolled and will receive a Reduced Fare (Disability) ID card. Applicants have the right to appeal if found ineligible for MetroAccess and information on the appeal process will be sent along with notification of ineligibility.

Our office is located at:

Metro Headquarters
Transit Accessibility Center (Lobby Level)
600 Fifth Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

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Changes in MetroAccess Eligibility

MetroAccess reserves the right to require a new eligibility assessment at any time. Reasons a new eligibility assessment might be required include, but are not limited to:

  • instances when there may have been possible improvements in a customer's ability to use public transit and/or
  • removal of physical barriers that previously prevented using accessible public transportation.

Recertification for MetroAccess Service

All MetroAccess customers are required to recertify for service periodically. Approximately 60 and 30 days prior to the expiration of a customer's eligibility,  a reminder phone call will be made informing the customer that their eligibility for service is due to expire. At that time they will be directed to contact the Transit Accessibility Center to obtain an application for service. It is important to note that while we attempt to contact each customer, it is the customer's responsibility to ensure that they are recertified for the service prior to the expiration of their eligibility period. As a reminder to customers all MetroAccess ID cards have the expiration date printed on the front of the ID card.

Applying for Visitor's Status for Paratransit

Visitors to the Washington, DC metropolitan area who are unable to use the accessible Metrorail, Metrobus or other local bus service because of their disabilities, are eligible to use MetroAccess service for 21 days in a rolling 365 day period. To apply for visitor's status please have the current paratransit provider mail, fax, or email verification to our office. In order to process the request we will need to obtain the following information:

  1. Applicant's full name
  2. Applicant's full address and phone number
  3. Applicant's paratransit ID number and expiration date
  4. Type of disability
  5. Type of mobility aid used, if applicable
  6. Authorized a Personal Care Assistant (PCA)
  7. If applicant uses a service animal

If the visitor does not have paratransit in their home area, they will need to have their healthcare provider provide a certification of the disability. We will also require the applicant to provide items 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 above. Once we receive the information we will enter the applicant into our system and mail an authorization letter and instructions on how to use our service to you. Alternately, we can email a PDF copy of the authorization letter to the customer home or work email address if supplied. In order to provide adequate time to process it is recommended that the visitors request visitor's status at least 3 weeks before their visit.

Our contact information is:

Metro Headquarters
Transit Accessibility Center
600 Fifth Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

Phone:  202-962-2700
Fax 202-962-6393
Email:  eligibility@wmata.com

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