Transportation Guide to Northern Virginia for People with Disabilities

The purpose of this guide is to help Fairfax area residents who have disabilities coordinate their transportation needs. If you have specific questions, please contact the relevant transit provider or visit the provider’s website.  Accessible transportation is a necessity for basic life activities.  Getting to work, attending religious ceremonies, visiting friends, going to the grocery store, and just about any other errand requires transportation.  Transportation promotes freedom, independence, and access to the community. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the civil rights of people with disabilities by mandating equal access on both public and private transportation.  To be protected by the ADA, a person must have a disability or impairment that "substantially limits one or more major life activities, or be perceived by others as having such an impairment."

Title II of the ADA covers public transportation and is enforced by the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA).  If you have any questions or concerns regarding public transportation for people with disabilities, you can contact the FTA on their toll-free ADA Assistance Line at 1-888-446-4511, by email at, or visit

All information regarding policies, fares, and contact numbers that is disseminated by transportation providers must be made available in accessible formats upon request. Braille, large print, TTY, email, telephone recordings, and accessible websites are examples of alternate means and formats.

Riders with disabilities are permitted up to two service animals on public or private transportation. The ADA defines a service animal as one that has been trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability. The civil right concerning service animals is an exception to a "no pets" policy.  The ADA requires that stops be announced, upon request, at sufficient intervals along a route to orient a person with a visual impairment to the vehicle’s location.  Associated with this is the requirement to announce or otherwise notify customers waiting at a transit stop of the arrival of a fixed route vehicle when that stop is served by more than one route. All ADA compliant vehicles have a two or four part securement system.  The driver or operator will secure the passenger’s wheelchair via the frame.  The securements used on the wheelchair are meant to replicate the stationary chairs on the bus with the intent to increase safety for all passengers.  A person who uses a wheelchair can request assistance with fastening the seatbelt if desired.  People who use mobility devices and/or people who have a disability that limits stair use, can request to use the vehicle’s lift or ramp to embark and disembark the vehicle. Public transit and paratransit permits one personal care attendant to ride for free for every qualified passenger with a disability.


Americans with Disabilities Act Paratransit

MetroAccess (Serving the DC Metro area)
301-562-5360, TTY 301-588-7535

MetroAccess is the ADA paratransit service for the Washington, DC metropolitan area for people with disabilities who cannot access or use public transportation because of their disabilities. MetroAccess provides door-to-door transportation service for eligible riders.  MetroAccess services any location in the District of Columbia; Montgomery, Prince George’s, Arlington, and Fairfax counties; and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, and Falls Church that are within three-quarters of a mile of any fixed-route service operated by Metrorail, Metrobus, or any of the above local jurisdictions.  Before using MetroAccess, customers must complete an application and undergo an eligibility assessment. At the eligibility assessment, a staff member will evaluate your functional abilities related to use of public transit, including, for example, your ability to walk or travel a measured distance. If you use a mobility aid, you must bring it to the assessment. ?Once eligible, a customer is issued an identification card and assigned an identification number for making reservations. Reservations can be made 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week. Trips can be scheduled 1-7 days in advance of the date of travel. MetroAccess also provides service to visitors to the Washington metropolitan area. When visiting the area, persons wishing to use MetroAccess can obtain temporary eligibility by calling and selecting the eligibility/recertification option from the phone menu.

City and County Operated Transportation for People with Disabilities

City Wheels (Serving the City of Fairfax)

City Wheels is a City of Fairfax program that provides alternative transportation within Fairfax City, to the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metrorail station, to George Mason University-Fairfax campus, and to Fair Oaks Hospital for city residents with disabilities who cannot use bus service.  Persons must apply for eligibility for City Wheels. Once accepted, participants receive an identification card, order forms, and a list of participating transportation companies. Coupons are valid for a one-way non-stop trip and can be ordered and paid for in advance.

DOT Paratransit Program (Serving the City of Alexandria)
703-746-4079, TTY 703-836-5222

DOT is the City of Alexandria’s specialized transportation service for residents who cannot use public transportation due to their disability. Trips are provided by taxicabs and wheelchair accessible vans. DOT provides service to the City of Alexandria, City of Falls Church, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Fairfax City.

Fastran (Serving Fairfax County and Cities of Falls Church and Fairfax)
703-222-9764 ext. 2, TTY 703-324-7079

Fastran offers specialized transportation services for residents of Fairfax County and the Cities of Fairfax and Falls Church participating in human service agency programs.

STAR (Serving Arlington County)

STAR serves Arlington residents who have difficulty using public transit due to the effects of age or disability. STAR is a shared ride paratransit service intended to provide a comparable level of transportation as provided by ART, Metrobus, and Metrorail. STAR riders share trips if they are generally traveling in the same direction at the same time. Trips are scheduled, with a few exceptions, without regard to the purpose of the trip. STAR riders must preplan activities and schedule STAR trips in advance as same day service is generally not available.

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Bus Systems

ART (Serving Arlington County)

ART - Arlington Transit operates within Arlington County, supplementing Metrobus with smaller vehicles and providing access to Metrorail and Virginia Railway Express. All ART buses are fully accessible with wheelchair lifts and priority seating.

CUE (Serving the City of Fairfax)
703-385-7859 (Voice/TTY)

The City of Fairfax’s CUE Bus system not only provides regularly scheduled, low-cost service to George Mason University, to shopping centers and other locations within the City of Fairfax, but also serves as a feeder network to the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metrorail Station. All buses on every route are fully accessible.

DASH (Serving the City of Alexandria)

The Alexandria Transit Company’s DASH bus system provides service within the City of Alexandria, and connects with Metrobus, Metrorail, Virginia Railway Express, and all local bus systems. DASH serves all of the Alexandria Metrorail Stations and the Pentagon Metrorail station during morning and evening peak periods. All DASH buses are wheelchair accessible.

Fairfax Connector (Serving Fairfax County)
703-339-7200, TTY 703-339-1608 

The Fairfax Connector system serves Fairfax County/  All buses are accessible and have a mandatory wheelchair securement policy. Bus service hours vary by route.

Loudoun County Transit (Serving Loudoun County)
877-465-2287, TTY 711

Loudoun County Transit operates rush hour service from park and ride lots in Loudoun to destinations that include West Falls Church Metro, Rosslyn, the Pentagon, and Washington, D.C. Loudoun County Transit buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts and appropriate seating for up to two wheelchairs.

Loudoun County Paratransit

Metrobus (Serving the DC Metro area)
202-637-7000, TTY 202-638-3780

Metrobus, operated by Metro, provides bus service to the entire metropolitan area, including Virginia, the District, and Maryland. All buses in the Metro fleet are accessible.

OmniLink (Serving Prince William County)
703-730-6664, TTY 711

OmniLink is the local weekday (demand responsive) bus service that operates in Eastern Prince William County and the Manassas area. OmniLink was designed to meet the transportation needs of the entire community, including individuals who may have difficulty getting to established bus stops.  All OmniLink buses are wheelchair-accessible and all have designated priority seating.

OmniRide (Serving Prince William County)
703-730-6664, TTY 711

OmniRide offers weekday service from locations throughout Prince William County along the I-95 corridor and Manassas and Gainesville areas along the I-66 corridor to destinations that include the Vienna, West Falls Church, and Franconia/Springfield Metrorail Stations; the Pentagon; Crystal City; Rosslyn/Ballston; downtown Washington, D.C.; Capitol Hill; the Washington Navy Yard; Bolling AFB; and Anacostia NAS.  Most OmniRide buses are wheelchair-accessible and all have designated priority seating.

202-637-7000, TTY 202-638-3780

MetroRail provides rapid rail service to the entire Washington metropolitan area. Stations and rail cars are accessible, and elevators are in all stations. Each station has an accessible fare vending machine with lower panels and easy-to-use instructions in Braille, raised alphabet, and audio. Extra wide, accessible faregates are available for customers who use wheelchairs or other mobility devices. A TTY-equipped telephone is on each mezzanine. Truncated domes are in all key and new stations to alert customers who are blind or have low vision that they are near the edge of the platform. Barriers between rail cars and gap reducers also assist customers with disabilities.

Metro’s Disability and Senior ID card customers pay half of the regular fare at all times. Personal care attendants may qualify to ride at half the regular fare depending on the eligibility criteria of the Metro Disability ID card holder. MetroAccess customers with a valid MetroAccess photo ID and companion ride free.

Visitors from outside the Washington metropolitan area with a disability must show a Medicare card or a onetime courtesy Metro Disability ID card and valid photo ID. Senior citizens from outside the area must show photo ID that shows their date of birth (65 years of age or older) to purchase specially-encoded $10 reduced farecards at Metro sales offices and some retail locations.


Virginia Railway Express
703-684-1001, TTY 703-658-6377

Virginia Railway Express (VRE) provides commuter rail service between Manassas, VA, and Washington, DC, and between Fredericksburg, VA, and Washington, DC. VRE has accessible parking, access ramps, audio/visual public address system, talking ticket vending machines, TTY phones, and Braille signage. All VRE stations are wheelchair accessible with ramps that lead to the platforms and motorized lifts on each train.

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Taxi Cabs in Fairfax County

Subsidized Taxi Programs

Taxicab Subsidy Programs
The county operates three programs which help make taxicab service more affordable for certain county residents. 

  • TaxiAccess provides subsidized taxicab service to county residents who are registered with MetroAccess.
  • Dial-a-Ride provides subsidized taxicab service for income-eligible county residents.  
  • Seniors-on-the-Go! offers subsidized taxicab service to seniors 65 years of age or older who meet certain income criteria. 

Car Sharing

1-866-494-7227, TTY 711

Zipcar allows members to use cars throughout the Washington, DC area by the hour or day. A Zipcar member requiring the use of hand controls to operate a vehicle will be reasonably accommodated. Zipcar requires 24 hours' notice from the start time of the reservation in order to reserve a hand control equipped vehicles.

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Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
301-261-1000, TTY 410-859-7227

All shuttle buses servicing the BWI Marshall parking lots and the BWI Marshall Rail Station are wheelchair accessible. Accessibility features in the airport include wheelchairs, pet relief areas for service animals, accessible parking, and services for people who are deaf or blind.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
703-417-8000, TTY 711

Courtesy van service to parking lots is available for patrons with disabilities by calling 703-419-9795. Airport accessibility services include pet relief areas for service animals, accessible parking, and TTY/TDD phones.

Washington Dulles International Airport
703-572-2700, TTY 711

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is fully committed to providing universal access to all public facilities and services at Washington Dulles International Airport for all of its patrons. Airport accessibility services include pet relief areas for service animals, accessible parking, and  TTY/TDD phones.

Washington Flyer Airport Express
1-800-235-9372, TTY 711

Washington Flyer Airport Express operates 17 lift-equipped buses. This service links Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport with Washington Dulles International Airport, connects Dulles with the Metrorail system, and provides nonstop transportation to downtown, stopping several times each hour at city hotels. Call for rates, schedule information, and reservations.

Other Transportation Resources/Programs

Commuter Connections
1-800-745-7433, TTY 711

This regional transportation network is dedicated to easing the daily commute. It provides information on ridesharing services, public transit, park and ride lots, and suggestions and recommendations related to onsite employer programs and staggered workweeks or compressed schedules. A Guaranteed Ride Home Program is offered for those who rideshare or commute using public transportation. Call for more information.

JCA Connect-A-Ride
703-323-6494, TTY 301-881-5263 (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.)

Available in Montgomery, Arlington, and Fairfax Counties. The specially-trained staff provides free information about transportation options for adults ages 50 years and older.  Public, private and volunteer transportation services are matched with the needs of individual callers, whenever possible.

Metro System Orientation Sessions
202-962-1558, TTY 202-962-2033

Orientation sessions are offered on the Metrorail and Metrobus systems to provide hands-on learning. During the orientations, riders will learn everything from how to locate Metrobus stops and Metrorail stations to purchasing a fare card and navigating the system.

Mobile Accessible Travel Training (MATT) Bus
703-877-5600, TTY 711

The bus, called MATT (Mobile Accessible Travel Training), is used to educate people with disabilities and older adults through a hands-on learning experience. Fairfax County staff will coordinate travel training trips in which individuals will travel by bus and rail transit to and from a destination of their choice. The travelers-in-training will identify a bus stop near their residence, learn to read bus schedules and route maps, learn how to pay the fare, and how to signal the driver to stop, as well as other bus travel skills.

SmarTrip Cards
1-888-762-7874, TTY 711

SmarTrip is a permanent, rechargeable fare card. It’s plastic, like a credit card, and is embedded with a special computer chip that keeps track of the value of the card.  In order to receive a free transfer on buses and a discounted fare on rail-to-bus tranfers, riders must use a SmarTrip card. Currently, SmarTrip cards can be purchased for $5 at Metro sales offices, commuter stores, select Giant Food Supermarkets, local CVS stores, and Metrorail stations that have parking. SmarTrip cards may also be purchased online for $30, which includes $25 in fare. For individuals with disabilities, there is a reduced fare SmarTrip card that entitles users to a 50% discount when riding Metrorail and on regular Metrobus routes, and for discounted fare on other participating bus service providers. In order to obtain a reduced SmarTrip card, riders must have a valid Metro Disability ID Card. For more information, visit

Advisory Committees
There are local advisory committees that advocate for accessible transportation for all users. The meetings are public and anyone may attend. 

Fairfax Area Mobility and Transportation Committee
This joint committee of the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board and Fairfax Area Long Term Care Coordinating Council works on transportation and pedestrian related issues for individuals with disabilities and older adults.  Contact 703-324-5421, TTY 711 for more information.
Metro’s Accessibility Advisory Committee

Metro’s Accessibility Advisory Committee was created to address the needs of older adults and persons with disabilities. Their efforts have resulted in numerous service upgrades.  They are held the first Monday of each month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the lobby level Meeting Room at Metro’s Headquarters at 600 5th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 


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