Commuter Direct - Help & Information

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Changes to Transit Link Card effective January 2016

Metro is in the process of eliminating all paper-magnetic fare cards throughout its system.

As part of this plan, in January 2016 the Transit Link Card (TLC) for February will be issued on a smart card (SmarTrip or CharmCard). From that point on, only the smart card version of the TLC will be sold.

MARC, VRE and MTA Commuter Bus vehicles do not have the technology to read smart cards. They will continue to rely on conductors and bus operators to visually inspect a sticker pass applied to the face of the smart card to verify the proper agency, month, and zones of travel. Applying transit benefits to the cost of the TLC remains the same, as does the monthly validity period and riding privileges on Metrorail and Metrobus.

Purchase from

Order from as you normally have. You will receive a new SmarTrip card with each order. The card will contain an electronically loaded monthly Metro pass and a VRE, MARC, or MTA Commuter Bus sticker pass.


MARC and MTA Commuter Bus customers: Price of TLC pass + $2.00 for SmarTrip card + $1.00 surcharge for sticker pass.

VRE Customers: Price of TLC pass + $2.00 for SmarTrip card (no surcharge for sticker)

Purchase at Commuter Stores

The TLC may be purchased at The Commuter Store, or reloaded, if you already have a SmarTrip or CharmCard. The TLC will be available at all Arlington Commuter Store locations, the Odenton Commuter Store, and the Springfield Connector Store. The monthly sticker pass will be applied to your card. Customers using this option are strongly encouraged to have two cards, so they can use one card for the current month, and load the TLC and get the sticker pass for the following month on a spare card. Customers will not be able to show two sticker passes on one card at the same time.


If you purchase a new SmarTrip card, prices are the same as listed above for If you load the TLC pass onto an existing SmarTrip or CharmCard, you will save the $2.00 cost for a new card. The $1 surcharge for the sticker pass will still apply for MARC and MTA Commuter Bus customers.

How to Use the New TLC

Use the card, with current sticker, as a flash pass on VRE, MARC, or Commuter Bus.

When riding Metrorail or Metrobus, tap the card to the SmarTrip target on faregates and fareboxes.

Register each TLC smart card at to protect the Metro portion of your TLC against loss.

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