WMATA Reduces Fares for Receivers of SNAP Benefits

WMATA recently unveiled a new reduced fare program for individuals who receive SNAP benefits. 

On June 20th the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA, or Metro) began offering reduced fares to low-income riders through its new “Metro Lift” program. The program offers a 50 percent discount for travel on Metrorail and Metrobus for customers in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia who are enrolled in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).

The reduced fare for Metro buses will be $1 per ride, matching the post-COVID-19 rate charged for Montgomery County’s Ride On buses.

Similar to Montgomery County’s Current Program: 

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) commissioned a study in 2021 to examine the Ride On bus fare structure with the goal of improving access to the Ride On transit system, particularly among low-income and economically vulnerable residents after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Ride On Zero & Reduced Fare Study found that most riders would benefit from reduced fares, but that developing and maintaining a program for low-income riders was not cost-effective. With County Executive and Council support, MCDOT reduced rates to 50 percent of the pre-pandemic $2 fare for all riders. The $1 reduced fare was implemented on Aug. 1, 2022.

How to Enroll: 

Online enrollment information for the program can be found at wmata.com/Metro Lift. In-person enrollment, allowing for immediate access to the program for those qualified, will begin at designated locations in Montgomery County and at three sites in Washington area starting on Monday, June 26.

The fare discount will be valid for one year after enrollment and will be available up to 48 hours after online enrollment. In addition to reduced fare, enrolled customers will receive a free SmartTrip® card.

Needed to Enroll

  • If you have one, bring your SmarTrip® card for you and each member of your household enrolled. SmartTrip cards will be provided if you do not already have them.
  • Active SNAP EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card.
  • Copy of your SNAP proof of benefits (if you are applying for members of your household).
  • Current photo identification (ID) card issued by the U.S., D.C, Maryland or Virginia.
  • Phone number.

How to Enroll

Online (now available)

  • Go to wmata.com/MetroLift.
  • Complete the enrollment form for you and/or members of your SNAP household.
  • Discount will be loaded to SmarTrip card up to 48 hours after enrollment.
  • Use your SmarTrip card and go.

In-person (starting Monday, June 26)

  • Schedule an appointment to visit one of WMATA’s in-person enrollment centers. Appointment booking is now available:
    • Online at wmata.com/MetroLift; or
    • By Phone at 1-888-SmarTrip (888-762-7874).
  • In-person enrollment will be available at the following locations:
  • Metro Center Metro Station. 12th & F Street NW Entrance. Mezzanine Level.
  • Metro Headquarters. 300 7th Street SW, Washington, D.C.
  • New Carrollton Metro Office. 4100 Garden City Dr, Hyattsville
  • Bring the required materials for you and/or your SNAP household members.
  • Use your SmarTrip card and go.

Read more about Metro Lift.

Read the full story.