D.C. Metro, Washington D.C.
Getting around the metro DC area is relatively easy. There are 5 lines operating in the downtown area.
The cost of the fare runs from $1.45 to $5.00 and depends on the time and distance you wish to travel.
If you have children (up to two) can ride for free with each paying full fare adult. Children 5 and older pay adult fares.
Every one raves about the Metro so here it is. The website below has every thing you need, maps, times, ticket, phone numbers, it is a great site to get you where your going. I did take the Metro train while on business in DC and it was very easy and quick.
The website below has all the information you need on riding the metro. I found it to be clean, safe and reasonably efficient (although there was track work on the weekend I was there that delayed trains quite a bit).
You can purchase a fare card in any amount and the machine keeps track of how much you use and prints it on the card. If you have a bit left on the card and are below $7, you can insert into one of the machines and add more to it.
There are day and weekly passes, I only used the metro a couple of times per day and only bought a day pass for Sunday when I knew I would be using it a lot. The day pass was $6.50 and most trips were $1.35 (non peak) so you'd have to use 5 times to save money.
From Reagan National airport, the cheapest way to get to the city is by metro. It was $1.35 (non peak) or $1.85 (peak). The metro can be picked up easily from Terminal B and C, if you arrive at Terminal A you can take a free shuttle to the metro or you can walk to it but it's a pretty long way especially if you have a lot of luggage.
I've read that traffic is terrible in Washington D.C. but I never had to deal with it, thanks to their great subway/metro system. I had never taken the subway before, but the color-coded routes were easy to figure out and they went everywhere I wanted to go : )
I only wish Seattle had public transportation like this!!! Check out the website below for a map of D.C.'s metro lines.
The DC Metro is a pretty good one. Like anywhere you go once you live in NY its hard to accept that it does not run all night. But other than that it will get you where you need to go, IF you are doing it at a "normal" time. And in the name of fairness they do have something many New Yorkers wish and dream for. Time boards of the next arrival.
Fares are also based on distance traveled so keep your ticket where you can get it as you need it to get out as well and therefore EVERY passenger needs one.
They are adding smart cards to the metro system. From what I saw you need to pay $5 for the card and add value from there. Hopefully these will be usuable everywhere like 7-11 as well.
Washington D.C. has an excellent subway. We rode the Metro everywhere, so we had no need for a car.
The Metro sells SmarTrip cards which intially come loaded with $25.00 worth of fares, and are rechargeable. I bought 4 SmarTrip cards online about 2 weeks before our trip. They were mailed directly to my house, so we were ready to travel on the Metro when we arrived in DC. The SmarTrip cards are great - you don't have to buy separate tickets or fish around for money. You just take your card and slide it over the SmarTrip logo sign at the entry and exit points. How much more convenient can it get?
The cards also allow the Metro system to record the time you enter and leave. They can be used on the bus as well, and if you transfer within the transfer period (two hours), they know that, too, and you will not be charged an additional fare. That is one heck of a smart card!
Washington, DC has one of the United States best mass transit systems. While perhaps not as intricate as New York City's, it is certainly more user friendly and perfect for a tourist town garnering its fair share of foreign visitors. While there is a Metrobus system in place, most short term visitors will not use them nearly as much as the city's heralded Metrorail which whizzs locals and visitors alike between the inter city's key features as well as acting as commuter lines helping to keep traffic manageable. These are color coded for user ease and fares vary by length and time of day. You can save money by avoiding peak travel times (weekdays 5-9:30 AM/3 PM-7PM, weekends after 2 AM) which works out easily enough for most tourists unless you are looking to get into town for the best light for photography as I was often doing. Non-peak trips range from $1.45 to $2.45 while peak hour trips range from $1.75 to $4.60. These longer trip prices are for commuters coming a fair distance from the suburbs of DC and will mostly not concern tourists. You can purchase a SmarTrip Card which will hold its value and save you time of purchasing a fare every time you take a trip. This works out perfectly for locals but for tourists unsure how many trips they will take it might work out to cost you more overall. Though prices are fair, my one gripe with the system is there should be a day pass that a tourist can use in an unlimited fashion all day, and perhaps a three-day and week pass.
We loved the escalators which were I believe the longest ones we had ever seen!
Much of the complaint with DC comes with its heavy traffic and exorbitant parking prices. Fortunately, there is a way around that.
The Washington DC metrorail is a great way to get around Washington DC and surrounding suburbs. The metrorail itself has five lines that take you between the Maryland-DC-Virginia area. So if you find yourself at a hotel away from the city center, no need to worry if you are near a metrorail station. Metrostations are clearly marked as well as their destination stations.
Trains operate 7 days a week. They are open 5:30AM weekdays and 7AM weekends and close at midnight Sunday to Thursday and close at 3AM Friday and Saturday nights.
There is a $1.35 minimum to $3.90 maximum charge for one-way fares depending on the distance that you travel. Transfers within the metrorail are free and $0.35 if you transfer to a metrobus.
The best way to get around Washington D.C. I think it is the best subway system in the U.S. and is more on par with those in Europe. At least you don't fear going down the steps to it like you would in my home town of Philadelphia :)
By an all day ticket and just zoom from place to place.. very easy and convenient to use. I believe an all day ticket is $6 now. They also have 7 day passes if your staying for a week.
The metro system in DC is limited to 5 somehow intersecting lines. It is not like Mexico's, NYC or Chicago.
However it covers main cities in Mariland, Virginia and DC. ck their website for a map.
It opens at 5:30am Mon-Friday
closes at 12:00am (midnight) Sun -Thurs.
opens at 8:am Sat & Sun
closes at 3:00 am Fri - Sat nights
so you could enjoy the nightlife, at least until 3 am every friday night and saturday night
the price varies depending in how many stations you will cross. the minimum to go from one stop to another is $1.15
If you are planning to use the metro more than 3 times then it is better to take the day pass which was around $6, I think it went up
There is a small transfer ticket box as soon as you pass the metro ticketing entrance. Grab a transfer ticket in case you need to transfer to a bus line. The bus will discount $0.50 cnts from the normal fare. (and sometimes is free for special buses ie. the cue bus that goes to GMU from the vienna metro)
Note that during rush hour the metro runs more frequently , about every 5-10 minutes but after rush hour and at night it only has a frecuency of every 20 minutes.
Also note that in some stations there are more than one entrance. (south and north , etc) So if someone is picking you up, make sure the person tells you which side to wait.
NO eating or drinking is allowed inside the metro premisses, just in case. I noticed that in other countries there is no problem.
To travel to see the museums, the smithsonian and other important places inside the heart of DC it is most practical to use the bus (the circulator which costs about 1 dollar or $3 dollars a day pass). the metro has only a few metro stops (4-5) inside the Capital.
ck the circulator http://www.dccirculator.com
I have one simple rule when it comes to driving in the Washington DC area: Don't do it. Traffic is terrible, parking is a nightmare, and the local drivers aren't exactly accommodating to newcomers. A good alternative is to take the Washington DC Metro.
Metro trains run on six different colored "lines": Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Orange, and Silver. Transfers are generally allowed between rail lines without extra charge. Minimum fare to ride Metro Rail is $2.15 ($1.75 off-peak times), with the fare increasing depending on length of journey and time of day. The maximum fare for a single trip is $5.90 ($3.60 off-peak times).
The Metro isn't the easiest system for tourists to understand right away, but with a little practice you'll be bustling through the gates like a pro. To use Metro, you must either purchase a paper ticket, or use a rechargeable "Smartrip Card."
You can purchase a TICKET from various machines at the Metro stops. These machines accept both cash and credit cards. You can purchase a ticket for as little as $2.75, or in larger denominations such as $10 or $20. As you use your ticket, the fares are deducted from the ticket's value. When the value is exhausted, the exit gate will not return your ticket. Should your ticket not have enough fare left, you will need to add value to it at an "Exit Fare" machine before you exit. If you do use a paper ticket, there is a fare surcharge of $1 per ride.
A SMARTRIP Card is a rechargeable card similar to London's Oyster Card. This card is the only way you can receive discounts for rail-to-bus or bus-to-bus transfers, as well as avoid the $1 per ride surcharge. You can purchase it with a set amount of fare already on it from vending machines at Metrorail stations. You add fare or an unlimited ride pass (see below) to your card at the vending machines. A new card typically costs $10 and comes pre-loaded with $8 in fare. You can also purchase a card online and at various commuter stores around the Washington area.
You can also purchase a PASS and add it to your SMARTRIP Card. A one-day pass will cover all Metro Rail from 9:30AM until closing (all day weekends and holidays)for $14.50. You can also purchase a weekly "short trip" pass for $36, or a 7-day "fast pass" valid on the entire rail system for $59.25.
The Metro fare machines are also compatible with the "MTA Charm Card," the rechargeable card available from the Maryland Transit Authority for public transportation in Baltimore and southern Maryland.
The DC Metrorail and Metrobus (Metro) provides safe, reliable, easy-to-use, and cost-effective transportation services to Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia communities, including just about all of the major attractions in Washington, DC.
It can be crowded during rush hour and when there are big events happening downtown, but taking the Metro is usually cheaper and easier than finding a place to park in Washington, DC. You can purchase the FareCards from kiosks inside the Metro station - the machines take cash or credit cards.
There are five Metro lines:
Red - Glenmont to Shady Grove
Orange - New Carrollton to Vienna/Fairfax-GMU
Blue - Franconia-Springfield to Largo Town Center
Green - Branch Ave to Greenbelt
Yellow - Huntington to Mt Vernon Sq 7th St-Convention Center.
The Metro lines intersect so that passengers can change trains and travel anywhere on the system. There are maps printed in every tourist pamphlet, map, and travel book.
Washington Metro Hours
Open: 5 a.m. weekdays, 7 a.m. weekends
Close: Midnight Sunday thru Thursday, and 3 a.m. Friday & Saturday nights
When I had been in DC before, I was staying in Maryland and would Metro in daily for my touristing .... this time, I was staying in Arlington, Virginia. The commute into DC was much faster! My metro route took me by Arlington Cemetary, Pentagon City and then right into the great city of Washington DC!
The metro is clean, and easy to use. ....
1. you need a metro map to determine which color line you want to get to your destination.
2. find a station, and read the signs ........ it's not always marked for going away from Dc, but it is easy to see which way to enter to get too DC :)
3. Buy a ticket from the electronic machines ... usually easier to just buy a 5$ ticket if you are going to be coming and going over a couple of days. Fares ran about $1.50 for me each way from Arlington to DC.
4. watch the electronic sign in the station, next to the tracks, to see how much longer till your train will arive (usually less then 15 minutes).
5. watch the train as it arrives. The front of the train lists the last stop on that line ...... like I had any idea about that. The side of the train has little signs w/ the color of the route - right by each door to make you more comfortable with your boarding.
6. Watch the signs on each station to determine when you need to get off!
7. Follow the exit signs to the surface
8. wander off!
All the metro stops in DC are underground, and well marked w/ a sign that has a 'M' on them. Because of this, I could use my route map to find where the station should be and then just keep an eye out for the signs when I knew I was close :)
Another note, because of 'national security', there aren't any trash cans down by the tracks ... so if you have something to throw away - do it at the base of the escalators or just carry it with you .... littering is strongly discouraged.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) runs efficient system of transportation both by metro and by scheduled buses called metrobus. The one system covers Washington DC and adjacent areas of Maryland and Northern Virginia (Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County). In a downtown the metro trains go underground whereas outside they often run above ground.
There is no better way to get around Wahington DC than to use efficient and inexpensive metro and eventually metrobus when needed.
The five metro lines are named and marked by the following colours: Blue, Green, Orange, Red and Yellow. Look at the map of metro system here. Transfer stations are marked on Metro maps with a double black circle.