The rail and bus system serves a population of four million passengers.
The routes include trips from Washington to Maryland (Montgomery and Prince George's counties) and Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun counties, and the towns of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church).
Ridership on the rail system in 2016 totaled approximately 179,693,126 trips; for the bus system, the total was approximately 123,675,724 trips.
As of 2016, Metrorail averages more than 600,000 riders per day.
The Metrorail includes six train lines and covers 118 miles.
Metrobus has 11,129 bus stops and 269 routes on 170 lines.
The system is patrolled by the Metro Transit Police Department
The Metro's Central Control has hotlines to every police and fire department in the regions serviced.
Buses and trains are equipped with a variety of alarms and notification systems that alert police and bystanders to emergency situations.
Emergency call boxes are located on station platforms that call Central Control and can be used to shut down third-rail power.
Outdoor Metrorail tracks are blocked by fencing that alerts central control to disturbances, breaks, and any tilting.
February 20, 1967 - The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is created.
December 9, 1969 - Construction on the Metrorail begins.
1973 - Four bus systems are acquired.
March 27, 1976 - The first portion of the Metrorail system opens to the public.
January 13, 1982 - Subway train derails during afternoon rush hour near the Federal Triangle on the Orange line, three dead, 25 injured.
January 13, 2001 - The final portion of Metrorail is completed.
2004 - Three new subway stations open, two on the Blue line and one on the Red line.
June 22, 2009 - Two subway cars collide on the Red Line in Washington during afternoon rush hour, seven dead, more than 70 injured.
July 26, 2014 -
The Silver Line
officially opens, adding an additional 11.7-miles to Washington's Metro.
January 12, 2015 -
One person is killed and more than 80 others are hospitalized after a train station at L'Enfant Plaza
fills with smoke. The smoke condition was caused by an "electrical arcing accident" on the third rail, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The incident prompts the Federal Transit Administration to begin work on a report identifying Metrorail safety issues.
June 17, 2015 - The FTA releases its report, which identifies numerous hazards throughout the Metrorail system. The problems include an understaffed control center, employees using personal cellphones while on duty and a poor radio communications network.
March 14, 2016 - An electrical fire in a Metro tunnel causes the shutdown of the Orange, Silver and Blue lines.
March 16, 2016 -
The entire Metrorail system is shut down
for safety inspections. The closure lasts from midnight on March 15 to 5 a.m. on March 17.
May 3, 2016 -
The National Transportation and Safety Board releases their report on the fatal Metrorail accident in January. According to the report,
the short circuit in the January 2015 accident resulted from WMATA's failure to follow standard operating procedures. The NTSB concludes that " had WMATA followed its standard operating procedures and stopped all trains at the first report of smoke, train 302 would not have been trapped in the smoke-filled tunnel."