*Effective Monday July 13th, Step-Up tickets used in conjunction with VRE multi-ride tickets will not be accepted on the designated Amtrak trains.
As Amtrak continues to ramp up service following the COVID-19 adjustments, they are working to manage social distancing onboard their trains just as VRE is doing. Amtrak can limit the number of passengers by reducing the number of seat bookings permitted on each train. Since VRE passengers utilizing the Amtrak Step-Up trains are not pre-booked, the Step-Up program is being temporarily suspended.
The duration of this suspension is unknown at this time. We will continue to work with Amtrak to reinstate the program once it is practical to do so.
Amtrak will only accept Step-Up tickets along with a valid VRE TLC Pass, Monthly Pass, Seven-Day Pass, or Ten-Ride ticket. Amtrak Step-Up tickets are non-refundable.
Where can I purchase a Step-Up ticket?
Step-Up tickets may be purchased at the same places you would purchase a regular VRE ticket. You may purchase single tickets on the platform at one of the TVMs with a credit or debit card only, or, these tickets may be purchased in bulk from one of our vendors. Please visit our vendor page for the vendor closest to you.
How does the Step-Up ticket work?
Once you have purchased your Step-Up ticket, you may use it in conjunction with your valid multi-fare ticket to board any of the Amtrak trains listed on our schedule. Be sure that your ticket is for the proper zones that you are travelling between. For example, if you're detraining at Fredericksburg, and you normally detrain from Leeland Road, the ticket that you're using in conjunction with your Step-Up must cover Fredericksburg.
Then, validate your multi-fare card (if needed) and present your tickets to the conductor the Step-Up ticket does not need to be validated). The conductor will then collect your Step-Up ticket and you will keep your VRE ticket.
For a list of our multi-fare tickets that may be used on Amtrak trains, please visit our ticket information page. NOTE: SINGLE FARE TICKETS MAY NOT BE USED WITH A STEP-UP TICKET TO BOARD ANY AMTRAK TRAINS.
What happens if I don't have a Step-Up ticket and board an Amtrak train?
If you do not have a Step-Up ticket accompanied by a valid VRE ticket and you board an Amtrak train, you will be asked to pay the standard rate for an Amtrak ticket to your destination. Step-Up tickets must be used in conjunction with a valid VRE ticket, not in place of.
Why do I need a Step-Up ticket?
The reason for the step-up implementation is because VRE pays Amtrak $13.00 for every VRE ticket holder riding an Amtrak train. Because of crowding issues, we are subsidizing this program. As a result, we ask riders to pay a step-up fee.
Can I use a Step-Up ticket for a holiday when VRE isn't running?
If any of the following Amtrak train numbers are operating: 66, 67, 83, 85, 86, 84, 87, 93, 94, 95, 125, 171, 174, 176, Monday through Friday, even on a weekday holiday when VRE is not running, an Amtrak step-up ticket with a properly zoned VRE Monthly, 31-Day, Seven-Day pass or Ten Ride ticket, will be accepted by Amtrak for travel on that train.
Amtrak numbered trains that are different from any of the above are not considered cross honor trains and cannot be ridden by a VRE passenger with a VRE ticket or step-up. These trains can only be ridden with an Amtrak ticket.