The Washington Metro Transit Authority sells a special card for frequent users of public transportation. Called SmarTrip, this card contains a special computer chip. This chip not only keeps track of the money in the SmarTrip account, but it also makes scanning magnetic strips a thing of the past. The SmarTrip card is merely tapped onto specific areas and the rider gains access to the bus, rail or subway. The SmarTrip card is a debit card, not credit. So a balance must be paid to keep the card current.

How to Check the Online Balance of a SmarTrip Card

1. Log on to the Washington Area Transit Authority website

Log on to the Washington Area Transit Authority website. On the homepage you will see a navigation bar at the top. Click on the fares and a drop-down menu will appear. Click on SmarTrip. A new page will appear.

2. Check your account

Click on "Managing Your SmarTrip Account." Click on "Create a SmarTrip Account." If you already have a SmarTrip account, simply click "Log in to Your Account." To create an account you will need to supply your name, address, birthday, email address and phone number as well as the serial number on the back of the SmarTrip card. To log in, supply your user name and password.

3. Click Balance

Click on the balance to see the amount still assigned to the card. From this screen you can also access the history of the card's usage.


You can add several cards to a single account, making it easy to keep track of an entire family's transportation needs

There is up to a three-day time lag between the card's usage and the online balance. Currently, adding value to the card online isn't possible.