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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Traveling on Metro

HOW TO CONTACT METRO

For administrative offices and general information, not including schedules and fares, call 202-962-1234 or go to http://www.wmata.com.

For suggestions, commendations or complaints, call 202-637-1328.

For Metrobus and Metrorail schedules and fares, call 202-637-7000 or go to http://ww w.wmata.com and click on Schedules & fares.

For lost-and-found service, call 202-962-1195.

FARES AND HOURS

Metrobus: Fares are $1.25 a ride with a SmarTrip card, $1.35 if using cash. Express routes are $3 with a SmarTrip card, $3.10 with cash. Transfers (good for two hours) are free.

Metrorail: A Metrorail Farecard or pass, a Metrochek or a SmarTrip card is needed to enter and leave the system. Farecards and some passes can be purchased at vending machines in the station mezzanines. Enter through the fare gates.

Hours: Metrorail opens at 5 a.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. weekends. It closes at midnight Sundays through Thursdays. On Friday and Saturday nights, it is open until 3 a.m.

FINDING A RAIL STATION

Look for the tall brown square column with the large letter M. The column also identifies the Metro station by name. Colored stripes show each Metrorail line that serves the station: Blue, Green, Orange, Red and Yellow. The columns also have the name of the station and line in Braille.

For station locations, see the system map above or go to http://www.wmata.com.

PARKING AT A RAIL STATION

Parking for up to 24 hours is available at all stations that have Metro-operated parking lots. A SmarTrip card is the only form of payment accepted upon exiting most of these lots. Six stations have an exit lane where credit card payments also are accepted.

SmarTrip cards can be purchased online, at stations where parking is available and at Metro sales offices, retail outlets and commuter stores. For information about SmarTrip, go to http://www.wmata.com/riding/smartrip.cfm.

Parking at Metro-operated lots is free on weekends and most federal holidays. Suburban lots and garages often become full by 8 a.m. on weekdays.

METROBUS INFORMATION

Metrobus stops have red-white-and-blue signs or flags. Some have four-sided cases that include route and schedule information. Unless you have a pass or a SmarTrip card, you'll need exact change because Metrobus drivers do not carry cash. Pay as you board the bus, inserting your money into the farebox next to the driver.

With a rail-to-bus transfer, available upon entering a Metrorail station, you'll pay a reduced fare on Metrobus and some local bus systems. A free Metrobus transfer, available when you get on a bus and pay your fare, can be used within two hours for a free ride on Metrobus and some local bus systems. If you pay for Metrorail and Metrobus trips with the same SmarTrip card, you don't need a paper transfer.

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