Commuter Rail - MARC and VRE

Photo: MARC train and passengersThe Washington, DC area has two commuter rail services: VRE - Virginia Railway Express and MARC - Maryland Area Regional Commuter.

VRE and MARC are heavy rail, long-haul services, carrying passengers as much as 50 miles into the Washington, DC area on weekday mornings and taking them back to their communities in the evenings. The combined daily ridership approaches 50,000 passengers; 16,000 each day for VRE and more than 30,000 each day for MARC.

VRE provides service between Union Station in Washington, DC and stations in Virginia, along two lines, the Manassas Line and the Fredericksburg Line. VRE is a joint project of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) and the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission (PRTC).

MARC provides service between Union Station in Washington, DC and stations in Maryland, along three lines, the Penn, Camden, and Brunswick Lines. MARC is operated by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation. In addition to MARC, MTA also operates local bus, commuter bus, light rail, and subway services in Maryland.

SmartBenefits® and Commuter Rail

VRE and MARC do not accept SmarTrip®, but VRE and MARC riders who receive SmartBenefits® from their employer can still use their benefits to purchase tickets. CommuterDirect.com offers a SmartBenefits personal account service.  VRE and MARC riders can apply their SmartBenefits to their CommuterDirect.com® account and purchase tickets and passes through CommuterDirect.com.® Customers can have tickets delivered to them, or pick up their tickets at any of the five locations of The Commuter Store.® More about SmarTrip and SmartBenefits.

Guaranteed Ride Home

If you use VRE or MARC to commute, you may be eligible for Commuter Connections' Guaranteed Ride Home (GRH). GRH provides free taxi rides home when the unexpected happens. Guaranteed Ride Home is also available to commuters who use other commuting alternatives, such as carpooling or bicycling. More about the Guaranteed Ride Home Program.

Did You Know?

50% of all trips Americans make are less than 3 miles; 40% less than 2 miles, 28% less than 1 mile.

U.S. Dept. of Transportation, 2009

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