News & Politics

Android Users Can Now Use Their Phones to Get on the Metro

Non-iPhone users finally get the SmarTrip app.

Photograph courtesy WMATA.

A big development for public-transportation-taking Android users in the DC area: You can officially use your phone to swipe onto the Metro and bus.

The SmarTrip app is also now available for download on Androids via the Google Play Store, and users can store their cards via their Google Pay wallets, WMATA announced yesterday. Folks will be able to purchase new cards or transfer existing SmarTrip funds to their virtual cards, and for the next six months, WMATA will forgo the $2 fee for users purchasing a new card via the app.

This is a big deal in the longstanding iPhone vs. Android debate, as iPhone users have been able to use their SmartTrip cards on their phones via Apple Wallet since last fall. Covid apparently delayed the launch of the Android feature, DCist reported.

Android users can also add passes, reload funds, and manage their SmartBenefits and auto-reloads via the SmarTrip app. The virtual card will be accepted for all forms of transportation where SmarTrip is used locally, such as Fairfax Connector, ART, DASH, TheBus, Cue, Ride On, OmniRide, Loudoun County Transit, and the Circulator.

Sadly, Android users’ texts will still show up green on the group chat.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. Her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Petworth.