It would seem based on reading the WMATA pricing page, that purchasing a ticket is easy on WMATA. But alas, each trip has a different price and there are no zones or areas, instead each station holds a different price. And to make it even more confusing, the machines have no signs posted about the pricing – you need to look for the “booth” which for me was always behind the machines. These booths will show you the pricing for all stations from that station.
To get pricing, visit this page and click the station you will start your journey from. Then select the station you will end your journey at and the price will be displayed. Remember to hold on to your ticket, you will need this to exit!
Based on this trip pricing, I believe you have 2 options for ease of use:
- When you get to the first station, just load a card with enough money for the amount of days you will be in Washington. For example, based on my calculations, the average trip price is $2.00. So I would suggest you put $4.00 per day multiplied by the number of days you will be in town. While there might be a little left at the end, this will avoid the hassles of trying to calculate the amount.
- Purchase day passes — these are $6.50 but will allow you to travel as much as you want with no headaches.