Frequently Asked Questions
- Where can I catch the bus?
- I heard that OmniLink buses can go off-route. How does that work?
- How much does it cost to ride?
- How do I plan a trip?
- Can I use my SmarTrip card on PRTC’s buses? Where can I add value to my card locally?
- What should I do if my SmarTrip card isn’t working?
- Lost and Found
- Can I take my bike on the bus?
- How does PRTC notify me about emergencies?
- Do buses run on holidays?
- Are there rules for riding the bus?
Where can I catch the bus?
You have three options:
- Stand at a bus stop. You can find the bus stops nearest to you by speaking with a Customer Service Agent at (703) 730-6664. PRTC’s Rider Tools feature and TripPlanner will also provide you with bus stop locations.
- Use an on-demand stop, which is a stop that OmniLink local buses serve upon request. Learn more about on-demand stops.
- Schedule an OmniLink off route trip. Learn more about off-route trips.
I heard that OmniLink buses can go off-route. How does that work?
OmniLink local buses can go up to ¾ mile off the standard route to pick up and drop off passengers. These trips are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are limited to ensure the bus service is reliable for all customers. Passengers who are not eligible for reduced fares must pay an off-route surcharge. OmniRide, Metro Direct and Cross County Connector buses do not make off-route trips. To schedule an off-route trip, speak with a Customer Service Agent by calling (703) 730-6664.
How much does it cost to ride?
Your bus fare will depend on your destination and the method of payment. Those traveling locally pay less than those traveling outside the Prince William County area. Reduced fares are offered for those who are 60 or older, those with a disability and those with a valid Medicare card. Check out the fare pages for OmniRide and Metro Direct buses and for OmniLink and Cross County Connector buses.
How do I plan a trip?
You can use the Rider Tools to help plan your trips, including finding the closest stop to your location, route and fare information. If you need further assistance planning a trip, call (703) 730-6664, Monday – Friday, 5:30 AM to 8:30 PM (except holidays) and a PRTC Customer Service Agent will be happy to assist you.
Can I use my SmarTrip card on PRTC’s buses? Where can I add value to my card locally?
All PRTC buses accept SmarTrip, a rechargeable farecard. It’s a convenient way to pay your fare without worrying about having exact change. You can add value to your SmarTrip card (using cash, credit or debit) at Metro stations and the PRTC Transit Center. You also can add value on your bus (cash only). Get instructions to add value to your card on the bus.
What should I do if my SmarTrip card isn’t working?
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 SmarTrip.com. Here are a few tips to help keep your card working: Make sure your SmarTrip card is kept flat and remains clean and dry. To prevent your card from becoming demagnetized, keep it away from portable electronic devices and don’t allow the card’s magnetic strip to come into contact with the strip on other cards.
Lost and Found
If you lose or find an item on a PRTC bus, please contact Customer Service at (703) 730-6664 or fill out this lost and found form.
Can I take my bike on the bus?
All OmniLink and Cross County Connector buses have bike racks below the front windshield, as do most Metro Direct buses. OmniRide buses do not have bike racks. The bike racks can accommodate two bicycles at a time. There is no additional charge for using the bike rack. Passengers are responsible for loading and unloading their bikes. Learn more about PRTC’s bike racks.
How does PRTC notify me about emergencies?
Occasionally PRTC services are impacted by bad weather, road closures and other events. If buses are operating normally, no notice or advisory is posted. If service is being altered, PRTC will:
- Post an alert at PRTCtransit.org.
- Send a Rider Express email and/or text message. Sign up for Rider Express.
- Record a message at (703) 730-6664.
- Submit announcements to local television and radio stations, depending on time and circumstances.
Do buses run on holidays?
PRTC’s commuter and local bus services have different policies for holiday service. Learn more about commuter bus service holidays and local bus service holidays.
Are there rules for riding the bus?
The most important rule is to be courteous and treat others as you would like to be treated. For those who have never used public transportation before, and for those who need a refresher course, PRTC has designed an OmniRights campaign for the safety and convenience of all our riders.