It depends on the service you’re riding and payment method you’re using.
Local/Park & Ride bus
Place your dollar bill(s) and/or coin(s) in fare box as you board (no change given)
Fare card – Tap card on fare validator located inside bus as you board
Mobile ticket – Show it to the bus operator as you board
METRORail and METRORapid
Fare card – Tap card on fare validator located on platform
Mobile ticket – Show it to a METRO fare inspector, upon request
Paper ticket – Show it to a METRO fare inspector, upon request
Paper ticket – Hand it to the driver
Monthly or annual pass – Show it to the driver
If you’ve paid online using E-Z Wallet, your driver will be notified in advance and you can just board the vehicle.