The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is making changes that will make riding easier and more convenient as the region resumes school, leisure activities, and returns to workplaces. Beginning Sept. 5, WMATA will add more buses and trains, offer lower prices, and extend Metrorail’s operating hours on weekends.
The changes, approved by the board in June, followed extensive public input about how riders plan to travel. The service and pricing improvements are designed to make WMATA a more affordable, attractive way to go and to meet customer needs for more service at all times of the day, not just during rush hour.
Among the service improvements, WMATA will add more buses on the busiest lines to better serve customers throughout the day, reduce average wait times for buses during the day, restore more service that had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and provide free bus transfers between rail and discounted passes.
On Metrorail, more trains will run during off-peak hours with average wait times ranging between two to seven minutes any time of day. Trains will also run longer, closing later overnight on weekends, and opening earlier on Sundays.
“As the region goes back to work and school, we will be ready with service that is convenient any time of the day and offers the flexibility riders need,” said WMATA GM Paul J. Wiedefeld. “We are also making Metro the best way to go on weekends, with less wait times for trains and just $2 for a one-way trip anywhere on the rail system.”
The service improvements will bring overall bus and rail service to near pre-pandemic levels, providing 97% of pre-Covid service levels on Metrobus and 91% on Metrorail. On some bus routes, and off-peak on rail, service will be even better than it had been before the pandemic.
WMATA will also offer up to a 50% discount on selected unlimited pass products between September 16 and October 15.
The following discounts and service changes will be effective beginning Sept. 5:
- Free bus transfers — If you connect between rail and bus, the bus ride will now be free for all routes except Express service.
- Lower rail fares on weekends — Weekend fares on Metrorail will be $2 for a one-way trip, instead of the current distance-based fare making almost any ride, anywhere on weekends cheaper than ever.
- Lower prices for 7-day Regional Bus Pass – Customers will now pay just $12 for a 7-day Regional Bus Pass, $6 for seniors/disabled customers, a savings of 20%.
- More buses on the most popular Metrobus services — On 36 lines, riders will see more buses, more often between 7 a.m.-9 p.m., 7 days a week.
- New and restored service — Customers on 10 routes will have new service added or service restored.
- Less waiting between buses on additional routes – Buses on more than 40 other routes will provide more frequent service for customers.
- More buses day and night — A detailed list of all the service changes can be found on the Metrobus Service Changes page.
- More trains, not just during rush hour — Customers can expect to wait no more than three to six minutes for a train on weekdays at any station served by multiple lines and on the Red Line, all-day until 9:30 p.m.
- Improved late-night train service — More trains every hour after 9:30 p.m., every five to eight minutes at any station served by multiple lines and every 10 minutes on the Red Line.
- Later closing on Friday and Saturday — Metrorail will stay open until 1 a.m. instead of midnight on Friday and Saturday. That is one hour more to be out and about.
- Earlier opening on Sunday — Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. on Sunday. That is one hour earlier to get your day started.
- More trains on weekends too — Get where you want to go faster, with more trains, more often on the weekends, every five to eight minutes at any station served by multiple lines and every 10 minutes on the Red Line.