Washington DC Public Transportation Guide

All About Metro, Trains and Buses in the Capital Region

Rush hour on the Metro, Washington DC, USA
••• Getty Images

It’s easy to travel around the Washington, DC area using public transportation. Since Washington, DC traffic is often congested and parking is expensive, taking public transportation can be a convenient way to get around. Sports, entertainment, shopping, museums, and sightseeing attractions are all accessible by public transportation. Commuting to work by subway, train or bus can be less stressful and more convenient than driving a car to some areas around the region.

Here is a guide to Washington, DC’s public transportation systems.

Trains and Streetcars

Metrorail - The Washington Metrorail is the regional subway system, providing clean, safe and reliable transportation around the Washington, DC metropolitan area using five color-coded lines that intersect at various points, making it possible for passengers to change trains and travel anywhere on the system.​

MARC Train Service - MARC is a commuter train providing public transportation along four routes to Union Station in Washington, DC. The starting points are Baltimore, Frederick, and Perryville, MD and Martinsburg, WV. Beginning in December 2013, MARC service will run on weekends between Baltimore and Washington on the Penn Line. The other lines run Monday through Friday only.​

Virginia Railway Express (VRE) - VRE is a commuter train providing public transportation from Fredericksburg and Broad Run Airport in Bristow, VA to Union Station in Washington, DC.

VRE service runs Monday through Friday only.

DC Streetcars - The first line H Street/Benning Road of the DC Streetcar began service in February 2016. Additional lines are expected to open in other parts of the city. 

Buses

DC Circulator - The DC Circulator, provides inexpensive, frequent service around the National Mall, between Union Station and Georgetown, and between the Convention Center and the National Mall.

Fares are just $1.

Metrobus - Metrobus is the Washington, DC area's regional bus service and connects to all Metrorail stations and feeds into other local bus systems around the region. Metrobus operates 24-hours-a-day, 7 days a week with approximately 1,500 buses. 

ART-Arlington Transit - ART is a bus system that operates within Arlington County, Virginia and provides access to the Crystal City Metro station and VRE. The Metroway bus line travels from the Braddock Road Metro station in Alexandria to Pentagon City, with stops in Potomac Yard and Crystal City.

City of Fairfax CUE - The CUE bus system provides public transportation within the City of Fairfax, to George Mason University, and to the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metrorail Station.

DASH (Alexandria) - The DASH bus system provides service within the City of Alexandria, and connects with Metrobus, Metrorail, and VRE.​

Fairfax Connector - The Fairfax Connector is the local bus system for Fairfax County, Virginia connecting to Metrorail.​

Loudoun County Commuter Bus - The Loudoun County Connector is a commuter bus service providing transportation to park and ride lots in Northern Virginia during rush hour, Monday through Friday. Destinations include West Falls Church Metro, Rosslyn, the Pentagon, and Washington, DC.

Loudoun County Connector also provides transportation from West Falls Church Metro to Eastern Loudoun County.​

OmniRide (Northern Virginia) - OmniRide is a commuter bus service providing transportation Monday through Friday from locations throughout Prince William County to Metro stations of Northern Virginia and to downtown Washington, DC. OmniRide connects (from the Woodbridge area) to the Franconia-Springfield station and (from the Woodbridge and Manassas areas) to the Tysons Corner station.

Ride On (Montgomery County) - Ride On buses serve Montgomery County, Maryland and connect to the Metro’s red line.​

The Bus (Prince George’s County) - The Bus provides public transportation along 28 routes in Prince George’s County, Maryland.