Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority



What is Bus ETA?

Bus ETA is an online bus customer information system that. Metrobus customers can use Bus ETA to access bus-arrival times for all stops in the Metrobus system. 

How does Bus ETA work?

Bus ETA uses global positioning satellites and advanced computer modeling to track buses. Predictions are updated and can be viewed every 30 seconds. Bus ETA takes into account the actual position of the buses, their intended stops, historical scheduling data and typical traffic patterns, combined with geolocation, to produce accurate predictions. 

How accurate are the predictions?

Bus ETA tracks buses on their routes every 30 seconds. We take into account the actual position of the transit vehicles, their intended stops, historical scheduling data and typical traffic patterns. Bus ETA cannot specify a precise overall accuracy especially if buses aren’t logged on. In general, the margin of error is less than one minute for predictions of five minutes away or less. For ten-minute predictions, the margin of error is less than two minutes. Predictions are biased slightly early to avoid people missing buses. 

What are the benefits of the system?

Bus ETA puts the customer in control. When you know what the schedule is, there are a number of reasons why vehicles may not arrive as expected. Heavy traffic causing delays, mechanical malfunctions, detours, and other unforeseen problems can interrupt service. By using Bus ETA to determine when the next vehicle is arriving, you minimize time spent waiting for a bus. Specifically, you can determine when to leave home or the office, in a timely fashion, in order to meet the bus. 

How do I use the bus stops signs to gain Bus ETA predictions?

Metro has been posting Bus Stop # signs or decals at Metrobus stops and bus shelters throughout the region. The round red, white, and blue sign posted at a Metrobus stop includes a unique, identifying bus stop number and the phone number to call to get real-time bus arrival information for that bus stop. Signs are posted at all Metrobus stops in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. 

How do I use the service?

Customers can obtain continuous arrival predictions by using:

·         Desktop computers via buseta.wmata.com using standard Internet browsers;

·         Data enabled smartphones and tablets;

·         Any of the 170 electronic message signs throughout the system; 24 signs at the Pentagon Metrorail station bus bays; LCD signs at the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center; 145 signs in bus shelters on local streets; six LED signs on the Arlington/Ballston corridor.

Metrobus customers can also access Bus ETA predictions by calling Customer Service at 202-637-7000 from a touchtone phone or cellular phone. When prompted, select the "next bus" option and enter the bus stop ID number located on the red, white, and blue bus stop sign. 

What could happen to cause a prediction to be wrong?

Unexpected and expected detours, accidents, traffic slowdowns and severe weather can cause predictions to be less accurate. Broken bus equipment also can cause predictions to not be available for that bus. 

Will I receive predictions during the Holidays?Depending upon the holiday, Metrobus will run a Saturday, Sunday or weekday schedule. Predicted bus arrival times will be affected by the unusual traffic patterns and other factors unique to a holiday. The predicted arrival times will not be as accurate on detoured routes during special events, such as the Fourth of July. See the complete holiday schedule list

Can I bookmark my bus stop?

Yes, you can bookmark the arrival predictions page for the bus stops you use. This will save you having to select your route and stop each time you use Bus ETA.

Does the site offer access for the visually impaired?

Yes, the accessible version has an especially streamlined interface optimized for accessibility and performance for visually impaired customers and mobile-device users. 

Where do I find bus schedules?

Links to bus schedules are available at http://www.wmata.com/bus/timetables/

Where do I find maps showing where the vehicles are?

Realtime system maps are available on the desktop site at buseta.wmata.com. To request the desktop site from your mobile phone: 

Chrome (Android)

1.       Go to buseta.wmata.com.

2.       Open the Chrome menu . 

3.       Check the box located next to “Request Desktop Site”.

4.       Bus ETA will reload, and the map will be displayed. 

Safari (iOS)

1.       Go to buseta.wmata.com.

2.       Tap on the ‘Share’ icon.

3.       Tap on the 'Request Desktop Site' icon .

4.       Bus ETA will reload, and the map will be displayed.

Is my privacy protected?

Bus ETA does not track your identity. Bus ETA will only use select route and bus stop information to provide passenger information to you. Bus ETA will NOT use this information to sell or distribute this information to any other organization, nor for any other purpose. 

Does the site offer access for the visually impaired?

Visually impaired customers can access the ADA-compliant mobile site at by clicking on "Text/Mobile" or by going directly to http://buseta.wmata.com/m/ 

Where do I find maps showing where the vehicles are?

The map with vehicle locations is available on the desktop site at http://buseta.wmata.com/

How do I use bus stops signs to gain BusETA predictions?

Customers can enter the bus stop ID number located on the red white and blue bus stop sign to obtain bus arrival information for that stop. 

What is the difference between schedule verses actual bus predictions?

Schedule information is available for buses that are not providing GPS data.  Bus predictions are an estimated arrival time based on bus GPS data. 

What does the solid red, blue, black and gray lines mean along the route?

Bus routes are colored according to route type:

·         Airport – Black

·         Local - Blue

·         Commuter – Gray

·         MetroExtra – Navy

·         Major Route – Red 

What does circular bus symbols with an arrow indicate?Circular bus symbols indicate the location of the bus according to GPS data. The arrow indicates the direction of travel. 

Will I receive predictions during the Holidays?


Search Tips

Customers can search for bus arrival information by intersection, bus route, or bus stop code. 

Search Results

Searches by intersection return 10 routes for that intersection.  Searches by bus stop numbers return results for all stops at that intersection.

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