What is the Metro Payment Pilot?

The Metro Payment Pilot is the test of Metro’s secure fare payment system of the future.  During the Metro Payment Pilot, you will benefit from faster, more reliable fare gates, a more financially-secure and accurate payment system, and more choices to pay your Metro fares.

When fully implemented, you’ll be able to pay fares using the transit card, contactless bank cards, government-issued ID cards and even mobile wallets on your smartphone.


Who can be part of the pilot?

We are looking for any regular Metro riders.  The Metro Payment Pilot will be conducted in select Metrorail stations, Metrobus routes and parking lots.  If you regularly travel between these locations, we want you!

  • Metrorail
    Ballston-MU, Bethesda, Eisenhower Avenue, Farragut West, Gallery Place, Navy Yard, Pentagon, Pentagon City, Shady Grove, Suitland

    Metrobus
    37, 39, J4, K9, X9 and REX

  • Metrorail Parking Lots
    Shady Grove and Suitland stations *

*Currently, parking is not a part of the pilot. We will notify you when parking is available.

Other terms and conditions apply.

What if my station or route isn’t listed?


How do I apply?

 Fill out the short form and we’ll be in touch in a few weeks to let you know if you qualify. 


What if my station or bus route isn’t part of the pilot?

This payment pilot program is a test phase, so not every Metro station or Metrobus route will be equipped with the new technology. Let us know your main station or route, and we’ll email an update when the new payment system is available.


When is the pilot?

The Pilot began on February 23, 2015 and will last for at least three months.


What will I have to do?

You’ll need to use your transit card or other pilot-enabled device on a regular basis and answer a short 10 minute survey once a month about your experiences.  Participants who complete the feedback surveys will be eligible for incentives.


What if I need to use non-pilot stations and bus routes?

That’s ok. You should still carry your current SmarTrip card with you. If you are traveling to a station without the pilot technology, you’ll need to tap in and out with your SmarTrip card for the duration of that trip.


What if I’m out of town during the pilot?

We prefer participants who will use the payment pilot technology regularly during the three-month pilot program. However, a week or so interruption can be accommodated.  Incentives are based on how often you use your pilot card—so those might be affected.


When will I hear if I’ve been selected?

Metro will confirm your selection in early 2015. Those who have been chosen for the pilot program will receive a full participant packet soon after a confirmation notice of selection is sent.