How to Ride DC Circulator and Metrobus

Most visitors to Washington DC will use Metro at least a few times to get around. However, not a lot of people will ever set foot on a bus. This is too bad! The bus is often a superior way of getting around. Learning how to ride DC Circulator will help visitors easily get to popular destinations like the National Mall and Georgetown. 

Find your DC Ciculator or Metrobus stop

Use an app on your phone such as Google Maps or Citymapper. It will help you figure out exactly which DC Circulator or Metrobus route to use, where the closest stop is located, and how to navigate to that stop.

Look for the signs! Circulator bus stops have a big red Circulator logo on them. Metrobus stops are a little more subtle. They will show you the name of the bus route on the sign.

Pay your fare

When your bus arrives at the stop, enter through the front door. Make sure you’ve waited until anyone exiting the bus had already gotten off. The best way to pay for both DC Ciculator and Metrobus is using a SmarTrip card. You might already have one if you’ve ridden Metro. But if you don’t have a SmarTrip, don’t worry, buses also accept cash. However, make sure you have the exact fare because bus drivers don’t make change.

Enjoy your ride

Sit back and enjoy your ride. Both DC Circulator and Metrobus have air conditioning which helps cool you down on a hot day. Some Circulator buses even have USB charging ports in case your smartphone needs a charge!

When you are ready to get off the bus, press one of the yellow strips or pull the cord to let the driver know you have reached your stop. You do not need to tap out with your SmarTrip at the end of a bus ride. All you have to do is wait for the door to open and exit.

Coming to Washington DC, and want us to show you around?

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation’s Capital. Trip Hacks DC provides tips, tricks and travel hacks for planning your trip; and guided tours to show you around once you get here. Our tours are family and school group friendly and our guides specialize in the major Washington, DC sites. Click here to check out the upcoming tour options and to book your tour here today! Feel free to contact us if you have any tour questions.

About Trip Hacks DC

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation's Capital.

Everyone wants to get the most out of travel experience; we know that planning a trip can be fun but sometimes stressful. The tips and travel hacks offered here will help you make the most of your trip and avoid missing out on the best things the city has to offer. Our trip planning e-book is the perfect resource for every first-time Washington, DC visitor.

If you're looking for a guided experience once you arrive, Trip Hacks DC specializes in private tours; but has public tours options as well. Visit the Guided Tours section to learn about some of the suggested tours and the trip planning resources section for help preparing for your trip. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

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