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Metrorail Red Line Updates and More​

The Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) is making numerous improvements to the Metrorail Red Line which will affect many NIH employees. Especially noteworthy, from September 11 to December 4, 2021, WMATA will close the Shady Grove and Rockville stations to repair canopies above the platform. To bypass the station closures, consider using the Twinbrook, White Flint, or Grosvenor-Strathmore Stations as an alternative for direct access to the Metrorail. Important travel alternatives and impacts related to the canopy project can be found on WMATA's page at

For FAQs related to the project, visit

Please also be aware that first-generation (9-digit) SmarTrip cards (purchased before 2012) will no longer be available for use on the new faregate machines being installed now through Spring 2022. It is important that you follow the steps below to transfer your NIH SmartBenefits to a new SmarTrip card if you purchased your card before 2012.

  • Purchase a new SmarTrip card (buy a new SmarTrip card)
  • Add the new card to your SmarTrip account by logging into and follow the online self-service card replacement process.
  • Make sure you transfer your personal funds, or call 1-888-762-7874 for assistance. It is important that you "Tap" your new card to a SmarTrip target within 30-days to complete your balance transfer
  • ​Log in to the CAPS system at​ and provide your new SmarTrip card number and we will transfer your NIH Transit Benefits to your new card.

Trains and buses, and discounts – oh my!

Beginning Sunday, September 5, Metro will add more buses and trains, offer lower prices, and extend Metrorail's operating hours on weekends.

For Metrorail riders, more trains will run during off-peak hours with average wait times ranging between 2 to 7 minutes, any time of day. Trains will also run longer, closing later overnight on weekends, and opening earlier on Sundays.

Metrobus riders will appreciate the addition of buses to the busiest lines to better serve customers throughout the day. These additions will serve to reduce average wait times for buses, restore more service that had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and provide free bus transfers between rail and discounted passes.

Metro will also offer up to a 50 percent discount on selected unlimited pass products between September 16 and October 15. For more information about Metro's discounts and service changes, visit:

If you would like more information on NIH transit subsidies (Transhare) or alternative transportation options (carpool, vanpool, bicycling, Rideshare, etc.) please contact the Office of Research Services, Division of Amenities and Transportation Services, Transportation Services Branch at or 301-496-5050.


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