On Metro buses
Simply tap your card on the farebox’s TAP target as you board. Wait for the “beep” and “GO” message to show the bus operator your card is valid. Remember, you must tap your card each time you board; you may not simply show it to the operator.
On Metro Rail trains and the Metro Orange Line
Locate the station validator as you approach the platform, tap your card on the TAP target, and wait for the “beep” and “GO” message on the display. Remember, you must tap your card before boarding; it is not valid unless you do.
Turnstiles are located at some Metro Rail stations. At these stations, tap the validator on the right side of the turnstile before you pass through.
If your trip requires more than one train (i.e., changing from the Red Line to the Blue Line), you are required to tap the validator again at the station where you change trains.
Always have your TAP card handy as fare enforcement officers with handheld validators may ask to verify that you have tapped.
Failure to load valid fare or tap the farebox or validator before boarding could result in a $250 fine.