DC Circulator Bus

DC CirculatorThe DC Circulator is a fast and inexpensive bus connecting areas that are not well served by Metro. The buses are clean and comfortable with low floors, big tourist-style windows, European-style seating, and multiple doors for easy on-and-off service. The bus is easily recognized by its red, black and yellow-striped colors. Most of the passengers riding the bus are young professionals, and the occasional tourist savvy enough to have figured out how to get around DC quickly and easily.

The bus has five color coded bus routes. All buses arrive every 10 minutes at every bus stop. Passengers can get a DC Circulator Map when boarding the bus. However, be sure to check the map before your bus trip to identify which bus stop is the closest to your destination.

DC CirculatorDC Circulator stops are identified by red, silver and yellow circular tubes with signs that provide information about the bus route. The bus stops often coincide with Metrobus stops. So, you might see DC Circulator signs next to Metrobus signs.

If this is your first time riding the DC Circulator bus, plan your trip using Google Maps. When getting directions from Google Maps, select the "By public transit" option. If there is at least a DC Circulator bus transiting through the area, it will be displayed in the results. The results are often combined with walking directions.

DC Circulator Fares


$1.00 dollar


$0.50 cents

Children Under 5

Free with a paying adult

DC Students (elementary through high school)

Free with DC Student Travel Card

DC Circulator Farecards

The bus fare can be paid using cash, SmarTrip card, or DC Circulator passes. If paying with cash, exact change is required because bus drivers do not carry cash.

SmarTrip� Card SmarTrip� Card: a rechargeable, plastic farecard that can be used to pay fares and transfers on the DC Circulator, Metrobus, Metro, and Metro parking. The card is available for purchase online at CommuterDirect.com and in person at Metro Center and at participating CVS Pharmacies, Safeway, Giant and other locations.

DC Circulator DC Circulator Passes: ride all you want by purchasing unlimited-trip passes. One-Day ($3), 3-Day ($7), Weekly ($11) and Monthly ($40) passes are available for purchase through CommuterDirect.com

Bus Transfers

The DC Circulator uses a paperless transfer system. To receive a transfer, a SmarTrip� Card must be used to pay the bus fare. Passengers using cash do not get a transfer and must pay the full fare when transferring to Metro or Metrobus.

DC Circulator to DC Circulator

Free within 2 hours

DC Circulator to Metrobus

Free within 2 hours

DC Circulator to Metro

$0.50 discount of the Metro fare

ART to DC Circulator


DC Circulator Routes

The bus has six routes. All routes cross each other and are designed to make transfers easy. Although buses run every 10 minutes, each route has a different schedule.

Washington DC Dupont - Georgetown - Rosslyn
7 a.m. - 12 a.m., Sunday-Thursday
7 a.m. - 2 a.m., Friday-Saturday

Washington DC Georgetown - Union Station
7 a.m. - 9 p.m. Daily

Additional Night Service is provided at "Whitehaven to McPherson Square Metro"
9 p.m. - Midnight, Sunday-Thursday
9 p.m. - 2 a.m., Friday-Saturday

Washington DC Potomac Ave Metro - Skyland via Barracks
Winter Hours (October 1 - March 31)
Weekdays 6 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Summer Hours (April 1 - September 30)
Weekdays 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturdays 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Washington DC Union Station - Navy Yard
Winter Hours (October 1 - March 31)
6 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday-Friday

Summer Hours (April 1 - September 30)
6 a.m. - 9 p.m., Monday-Friday
7 a.m. - 9 p.m., Saturday
*Extended bus service is provided on Nationals' games days.

Washington DC Woodley Park - Adams Morgan - McPherson Square
7 a.m. - Midnight, Sunday-Thursday
7 a.m. - 3:30 a.m., Friday-Saturday

National Mall Route
Winter Hours (October 1 - March 31)
7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Weekdays
9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Weekends

Summer Hours (April 1 - September 30)
7 a.m. - 8 p.m., Weekdays
9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Weekends

Is the DC Circulator similar to Metrobus?

Using the DC Circulator bus is easier than traveling via Metro or Metrobus. However, you might need to know the following when riding the DC Circulator:

Unlike Metrobus, the DC Circulator bus does not have a digital screen or an announcer to let passengers know which bus stop is next. So, pay attention to the roads and know where you are. The bus drivers are friendly and know their routes well, so don't be afraid to ask for help if needed.

Unlike Metrobus, the DC Circulator bus does not have yellow cords to indicate the bus driver that you are getting off at the next bus stop. Instead, the DC Circulator bus has yellow and red buttons located on the arm rails or walls of the bus. Press any of these buttons to indicate the driver that you will be getting off.


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