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What is SmarTrip®?

SmarTrip is a rechargeable farecard that you can use on many public transportation systems throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia including Metrorail and Metrobus. Having one farecard makes bus and train transfers easy, and with SmarTrip there’s no need to carry bus tokens or worry about having exact change for your fare.

Where Can I Get a SmarTrip Card?

Your SmarTrip card will cost $2 to purchase. Some sales locations sell cards with pre-loaded amounts already on them; therefore, the cost would be $2 plus the pre-loaded amount. You may purchase a SmarTrip card online at or:


PRTC Transit Center


OPEN 6am - 8pm, Monday - Friday
Transactions processed 7am - 7pm
14700 Potomac Mills Road
Woodbridge, VA 22192
(703) 730-6664 OR
(888) 730-6664

Senior (65+) SmarTrip cards also on sale at PRTC


Todos Markets

13905 Jefferson Davis Highway

Marumsco Plaza

Woodbridge, VA

17897 Dumfries Shopping Plaza

Dumfries, VA



The Commuter Stores

Rosslyn Metro Station
1810 N. Moore Street
Arlington, Virginia
(703) 525-1995

Vending machines in Metro stations

Crystal City Shops
251 18th Street South, Suite 1638-B
Arlington, Virginia
(703) 413-4287
Ballston Metro Station
4230 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, Virginia
(703) 528-3541


How Do I Register My Card?

SmarTrip cards must be registered in order to receive SmartBenefits or to have value from a lost, stolen, or damaged card transferred to a new card.  To register your card, visit  If you purchased your card online or by mail, it is already registered.

How Do I Pay My Fare?

  • Each passenger must have their own SmarTrip card.
  • Simply touch your SmarTrip card to the SmarTrip target on top of the electronic farebox.  The appropriate fare will be automatically deducted from your card. 
  • OmniRide and Metro Direct passengers who pay with a SmarTrip card receive discounted fares. 
  • All passengers may pay with cash ($1, $5, $10 or $20 bills and coins - no pennies).
  • OmniLink passengers may pay with tokens.
  • Those who qualify for reduced fares on PRTC buses must pay with cash or with a Senior (65+)/Disabled SmarTrip card (available through the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) in order to receive the discount.
  • Local bus Day Pass and Weekly Pass are only available on SmarTrip cards.
  • OmniLink off-route surcharges may be paid for with cash, token or with additional value stored on a SmarTrip card.

How Do I Pay a Reduced Fare?

PRTC offers reduced fares all day on OmniLink and Cross County Connector buses, and during non-peak hours (9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and after 7 p.m.) on OmniRide and Metro Direct buses.  Passengers qualify for reduced fares on PRTC buses if they are at least 60 years old, or if they have a disability or a valid Medicare card.  Riders eligible for reduced fares on PRTC buses must pay with cash or with a WMATA-issued Senior SmarTrip card or a Metro Reduced Fare SmarTrip ID.

If you have a WMATA-issued Senior SmarTrip card or Metro Reduced Fare SmarTrip ID, simply tap your card to the SmarTrip target. The farebox on PRTC buses and on all other regional carriers will automatically deduct the reduced fare, if applicable. For more information about Senior SmarTrip cards, call (888) 762-7874. For more information about Metro Reduced Fare SmarTrip ID, call (202) 962-2845 or visit Metro’s Reduced Fare Program page.

How Do I Make a Transfer with a SmarTrip Card?

Transfers ARE ONLY AVAILABLE FOR FARES PAID WITH SMARTRIP. They are good for 3 hours on the day issued. The electronic farebox will calculate and automatically deduct the correct fare from your SmarTrip card.

  • No credit will be given when transferring between PRTC buses and Metrorail.

There are no free transfers between OmniLink buses. Passengers should consider purchasing a day or weekly pass for OmniLink travel that requires the use of multiple bus routes.

How Do I Add Money To My SmarTrip Card?

Riders can load value online at as needed, or can use SmarTrip's Autoload feature to have a pre-determined amount added automatically via credit or debit card.


Value also may be added at any Metrorail station, at the PRTC Transit Center, or on any PRTC bus. When loading value on the bus, please note that it may take up to three days for the value to appear on the SmarTrip card. To load value on the bus:

  • Before you tap your card to the target, push the ADD VALUE button on the farebox.  (If you touch the card to the target prior to pushing the ADD VALUE button, the farebox will deduct your fare).
  • Touch your card to the SmarTrip target.
  • Insert cash $1, $5, $10 or $20 bills or coins (no pennies) to load up to a maximum of $300 total value on the card.  To prevent delays, please limit on-board loading of your card to three bills. 
  • Touch your card to the SmarTrip target again to upload the value.
  • Touch your card once more to deduct the fare for your trip.

To check the available balance on your SmarTrip card, push the CHECK VALUE button before you tap the card to the target.  Your card balance will appear on the display screen.


How Do I Buy A Pass Product?

You can buy Day Passes and Weekly Passes at the PRTC Transit Center and on PRTC busesTo buy a pass on a PRTC bus, be sure to have enough money on your SmarTrip card and inform the operator that you want to purchase a pass before tapping your card.  To prevent delays, please do not load more than three bills to your SmarTrip card at one time.

To use your pass, simply tap your SmarTrip card to the farebox.

If you qualify, you can buy a Reduced Fare Weekly Pass or Day Pass using your SmarTrip card.

  • If you have a WMATA issued Senior SmarTrip card or Metro Reduced Fare SmarTrip ID, tell the operator that you want to buy a pass, show the operator your SmarTrip card and then tap it to the farebox.
  • If you qualify for reduced fares on PRTC buses but DO NOT have a WMATA issued Senior SmarTrip card or a Metro Reduced Fare SmarTrip ID, visit the PRTC Transit Center (M-F, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.) and bring proof of your age and/or disability and your SmarTrip card.  PRTC will place a sticker on your SmarTrip card so bus operators will know that you are eligible to pay reduced rates for passes. When boarding, tell the operator that you want to buy a pass, show the operator your SmarTrip card with the sticker and then tap it to the farebox.


What If I Have a Problem With My SmarTrip Card?

If you have trouble using your SmarTrip card on the bus, you will have to pay for your trip with cash.  If you have questions or problems using your SmarTrip card, contact Metro at (888) 762-7874 or visit

Where Can I Use a SmarTrip Card?

Along with PRTC, these regional carriers also accept SmarTrip:

  • ART – Arlington County
  • CUE – Fairfax City
  • DASH – Alexandria
  • DC Circulator
  • Fairfax Connector
  • Loudoun County Transit
  • Metrorail and Metrobus
  • Ride On – Montgomery County

What is SmartBenefits?

SmartBenefits® is a tax free or pre-tax benefit, of up to $255 per month that companies and Federal agencies can provide to their employees. Using a convenient web-based program, employers assign the dollar value of an employee's monthly SmartBenefit directly to the employee's SmarTrip card. The benefit is also accepted in participating vanpools.  The SmartBenefits program is administered through the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro). For more information, visit the SmartBenefits page on Metro's website or call Metro at (202) 962-1326.


Learn more about SmarTrip and SmartBenefits:

(888) 762-7874
Weekdays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

SmarTrip --

SmartBenefits --


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