Washington D.C. Transportation Tips by matcrazy1 Top 5 Page for this destination

Washington D.C. Transportation: 407 reviews and 474 photos

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TOURMOBILE SIGHTSEENG TICKET OFFICE - Washington D.C.

TOURMOBILE SIGHTSEENG TICKET OFFICE

Tours by bus Bus / Tours Review

I've visited Washington, DC + Arlington, Virginia on foot, by metro + metrobus and I've driven a hired car. It's likely that I would have taken a bus tour if I hadn't hired a car. I have seen buses run by a few companies. Let me say about:

1. Tourmobile Sightseeing - I've seen their buses in Arlington Cemetery and in downtown DC, they run a ticket office in a kiosk put down the Lincoln Memorial; open my next picture to see details - I'd choose Washington and Arlington Cemetery Tour (21 stops in DC + 4 in the Arlington Cemetery) for $20.

2. Gray Line Tours - they are more expensive than Tourmobile Sightseeing (9 hours tour cost $45).

3. Old Town Trolley - I'd choose narrated tour of Washington DC with free reboarding (12 stops) for $28 or DC Ducks Tour across downtown + the Potomac River cruise, all on an road-river vehicle (amphibian) - hmm... it cost $58 for only 90 minutes.

Read opinions of other VT-ers on the above tours here
.


Mode: AROUND

Type: Bus

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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SIGN OF PENTAGON CITY METRO STATION (ARLINGTON) - Washington D.C.

SIGN OF PENTAGON CITY METRO STATION (ARLINGTON)

How to find and get to metro station? D.C. Metro Review

Entrances to each metro station are marked by tall brown columns with a large "M" on each side and with the name of the station, just like on my picture of Pentagon City Station in Arlington. The color stripes at the top (blue and yellow on my picture) show which Metrorail lines serve that station. The stations are always marked on all maps of Washington DC, I saw.

To get to the nearest metro station you can:
- walk
- take a metrobus
- take a shuttle van/bus from your hotel (ask at the desk).

Keep in mind that in a downtown the metrorail goes underground whereas outside they often run above ground with the station located above as well. Follow the link below to see up-to-date list of metro stations/stops.



Mode: AROUND

Other Contact: +1 (202) 637-1328

Phone: +1 (202) 637-7000

Type: Subway/Metro

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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LIST  OF  METRO  FARES - Washington D.C.

LIST OF METRO FARES

Which ticket to buy? D.C. Metro Review

There are numerous metro fares, passes and farecards available:
- for metrorail, for metrobus and for both;
- valid for single trip, for 1 day or 7 days.
I purchased metrorail fares and once One Day Pass.




SINGLE METRORAIL TRIP ($1.35 - $3.90)
To purchase right metrorail fare in farecard vending machines in metrorail stations I had to know how much it was. There is a list of all metro stations and fares to them put on the kiosk by the gates (enlarge my picture).

There are two fares shown:
- regular fare (peak fare in effect on weekdays from opening to 9.30 am, 3-7 pm and 2 am to closing; $1.35 - $3.90)
- reduced fare (off peak fare all other times; $1.35 - $2.35)

Example fares to Federal Center SW metro station close to US capitol (reduced/regular; time of travel):
- Union Station: $1.35/$1.35; 16 min.
- Archives - Navy Memorial: $1.35/$ 1.35; 10 min.
- Tenleytown-AU: $1.35/$2.00; 24 min.
- Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington $1.35/$1.50; 15 min.




ONE DAY PASS
I paid $6.50 for the pass purchased in a vending machine. It was valid for one day of unlimited Metrorail travel on weekdays after 9:30 a.m. or all day on Saturdays, Sundays or federal holidays. Pass expires at the end of the operating day: 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays, midnight on other nights. All Metrorail passes are gate-activated. The faregate activates the pass the first time it is used and prints the last valid date on the pass.



Follow the link below to get up-to-date information on passes and farecards.

Mode: AROUND

Other Contact: +1 (202) 637-1328

Phone: +1 (202) 637-7000

Type: Subway/Metro

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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FARECARDS VENDING MACHINE FOR SINGLE FARECARDS - Washington D.C.

FARECARDS VENDING MACHINE FOR SINGLE FARECARDS

Where to buy metro fares? D.C. Metro Review

I purchased both single farecards and One Day Pass at farecard vending machines in metrorail stations. They are numerous and always located just before the gates.

There are two kinds of farecard vending machines:
- marked Farecards (on my picture) sells single farecards only;
- marked Passes/Farecards accept cash and credit cards, and sell passes, and single or multiple farecards.




Metro fares are available online, in metro sales offices, retail outlets, commuter stores and metrobus divisions. Follow the link below to get up-to-date information.


Mode: AROUND

Other Contact: +1 (202) 637-1328

Phone: +1 (202) 637-7000

Type: Subway/Metro

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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PASSES/FARECARDS VENDING MACHINE - Washington D.C.

PASSES/FARECARDS VENDING MACHINE

Using the farecards vending machine D.C. Metro Review

To use the vending machines at metrorail stations small bills are recommended. There are no change machines in stations and farecard machines provide only up to $5.00 in change (in coins). The machines accept coins of 5 (nickels), 10 (dimes) and 25 c (quarters) and bills 1, 5, 10 and 20 dollars.



PASSES/FARECARDS vending machine

The machine, on my picture, accepts both cash and credit cards (for sure of Visa and Mastercard system) and sells both passes and single or multiple farecards. I used it to buy two One Day Passes ($6.50 each)

It had a display screen in the center of the machine which guided me through my transaction. I simply followed the prompts. The A, B and C buttons are located to the left of the screen. They are used to choose your purchase:
A - pass
B - single farecard
C - multiple farecards
When I chose what to buy (A) and how many (2) I inserted money (alternatively you may insert and quickly remove your credit card). Remember not to insert more than $5 over your price. Well, the machine gave me 2 One Day Passes and with nice casino-like sound got my change in coins.




FARECARDS vending machine

It doesn't accept credit cards and sells exclusively single farecards. Keep in mind that you purchase single farecard of particular exact value (you must know it), not a farecard to specified station.

When I put money in the slot (not more than 5$ over the fare value) I selected the value of my farecard by pressing the minus (-) or plus (+) button until the value I wanted was displayed. Then I pressed the push for farecard button (red one - I forgot it at first attempt) and removed my farecard. My change was returned in coins near the bottom of the machine.



Mode: AROUND

Other Contact: +1 (202) 637-1328

Phone: +1 (202) 637-7000

Type: Subway/Metro

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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METROBUS  TIMETABLE  AT  THE  BUS  STOP - Washington D.C.

METROBUS TIMETABLE AT THE BUS STOP

Metrobus - timetables Bus / Tours Review

Timetables of metrobus are displayed at the bus stops (by Sheraton National Arlington hotel on my picture) but warning: only at some stops. There is no metrobus timetable at the stop by Fort Myer for example. Instead there is always a phone number where to call for information. Keep in mind that due to unpredictable traffic conditions in urban area of Arlington the metrobuses (in contrast to metrorails) may always come delayed.

WHERE TO FIND THE TIMETABLE
If there isn't on the bus stop you have a few option:
1. call the number shown on the bus stop sign if you have a cell phone,
2. ask at the hotel desk if there is any by the stop (Days Inn by Fort Myer),
3. find the detailed timetables of your line in the web here - download them and print out or put to your palmtop (PDA format).



Mode: AROUND

Other Contact: +1 (202) 637-1328

Phone: +1 (202) 637-7000

Type: Bus

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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METROBUS  STOP  BY  SHERATON  NATIONAL  HOTEL - Washington D.C.

METROBUS STOP BY SHERATON NATIONAL HOTEL

Metrobus, metrorail - transfers Bus / Tours Review

TRANSFER
After Washington, DC VT-meeting we (my wife, Kathy, Chris and me) came back to our hotel in Arlington first by metro than by metrobus. At our starting metro station in DC (behind the gates) we found a vending machine which gave us free so called transfers - a kind of tickets which entitled us later to pay a discounted metrobus fare of 35c (instead of $1.25), paid to a driver of our bus from Pentagon metro station to Sheraton National hotel.

1. Metrorail-to-Metrobus transfers
Get it at your start metro station (behind the gates) at the vending machine (it's free), one per person. Then show it to a driver of a metrobus to pay 35c (instead of $1.25) on regular Metrobus routes or $1.65 (instead of $3.00) on express routes. Warning: transfers are not valid for stopovers, return trips or within four blocks of where they are issued.

2. Metrobus-to-Metrobus transfers
When you board a bus ask your bus driver for a FREE transfer. This transfer is valid for unlimited Metrobus connections, including round trips, within the two-hour period shown on transfer. In case of traveling first regular route and then express one when you show your transfer you must pay the difference ($1.75) in an express bus.

Note: if you pay with a SmarTrip card (electronic card with a chip), you don't need a paper transfer - it works automatically.


Mode: AROUND

Other Contact: +1 (202) 637-1328

Phone: +1 (202) 637-7000

Type: Bus

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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RONALD REAGAN WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT - Washington D.C.

RONALD REAGAN WASHINGTON NATIONAL AIRPORT

Airports Airports / Flights to D.C. Review

There are three airports which serve Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and the Maryland suburbs:

1. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) located in Arlington, Virginia, approximately 5 miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.

2. Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) located both in Fairfax and Loundoun county, approximately 26 miles west of downtown Washington, D.C. (23 mi to Arlington) on the Fairfax-Loudoun County line.

Maps here.

3. Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) located in Maryland, 32 miles northeast of downtown Washington, DC (38 mi to Arlington) and 10 mi south of downtown Baltimore.




FROM AIRPORTS TO DOWNTOWN WASHINGTON, DC

1. DCA (10 min.)
- there is metro station (on my picture) adjacent to Terminals B and C (on level 2; yellow and blue line); take yellow line to L'Enfant Plaza station (direction Largo Mt Vernon Sq 7th St - Convention Center; fourth station; 10 min.; fare: $1.35 or $1.40 on peak hours); more options here.

2. IAD (approx. 50 min. - 1 hour)
- take Express metrobus 5A to L'Enfant Plaza ($3.00 paid at driver, get change ready); ask for free transfer if you are going to continue travel by either other metrobuses or metrorails. Timetable: here. Warning: the jorney may take longer time in rush hours. More options here.

3. BWI (approx. 40 min.)
Take an Amtrak train to Washington?s Union Station. It costs $13.00. Details here. Other options here.



Mode: TO

Phone: +1 (703) 417-8000

Type: Airplane

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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METROBUS  STOP - Washington D.C.

METROBUS STOP

Metrobus - my recommendation Bus / Tours Review

Scheduled buses run by Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) are called metrobuses. The company runs metro system, too and covers Washington DC and adjacent areas of Maryland and Northern Virginia.

METROBUS LINES AND STOPS
The metobus lines are named by 1 or 2-digit number and one letter (5A, 16A, 24P etc.). Metrobus stops are always marked by a sign, like on the picture, taken by Sheraton National Hotel in Arlington.

IDENTIFYING METROBUS
The route number and destination is displayed above the windshield. A destination sign is also located on the boarding side of the bus. Board the bus using the front door and either show the driver your pass/SmarTrip card or buy a single fare.

HOW TO PAY
When you board the bus you must have a change to buy a metrobus fare unless you have a pass or SmarTrip card. Metrobus drivers do not carry cash.

HOW MUCH TO PAY
There are Regular buses ($1.25) and Express buses ($3.00). Kids up to 4 years old travel free (up to 2 per one adult).

REGIONAL ONE DAY PASS ($3.00)
The pass gives a full day of unlimited rides regionwide on regular Metrobuses and other local buses. On express buses, the pass covers $1.25 of $3.00 fare. Pass expires at 3 am.


Mode: AROUND

Other Contact: +1 (202) 637-1328

Phone: +1 (202) 637-7000

Type: Bus

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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IN FRONT OF THE NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM - Washington D.C.

IN FRONT OF THE NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM

DC by bicycle? Bicycle / Walking Review

I do not recommend to visit downtown Washington by bicycle. But riding a bicycle to visit some tourist attractions outside downtown maybe a good option.

I haven't seen many visitors to Washington, DC riding a bicycle in downtown. I haven't seen bicycle routes in downtown as well. The reason is obvious. There are very few designated places (bicycle racks) to leave a bicycle in front of numerous museums and federal buildings. Well, there are bicycle racks in front of the National Air and Space Museum. In front of the Holocaust Museum I've seen two bicycles left on a street, leaned against an info sign. I've seen some visitors and locals riding a bicycle mainly in West Potomac Park though.

BICYCLES + METRO
There are bicycle racks in many metro stations and the Union Station. They are used by locals mainly as many metro parking lots shortly become full on business days (and it costs some $3.5 - $5 Mon - Fri). Bicycles are permitted on Metrorail (limited to two bicycles per car) weekdays except rush hours, from 7.00 am to 10.00 am and 4 pm to 7 pm. Bicycles are permitted all day Saturday and Sunday as well as most holidays (limited to four bicycles per car). Bicycles are not permitted on July 4th and other special events or holidays when large crowds use the system. Details here.

I've got to know that there are a few bicycle trails in DC area like Capital Crescent Trail (13 miles, Georgetown to Bethesda) and many trails across the adjacent states like Mount Vernon Trail from Arlington, Virginia (just across the Potomac River from downtown DC) to Mount Vernon. For more trails and details follow the links below, please.



Mode: AROUND

Other Contact: http://www.waba.org

Type: Bicycle

Website: http://bikewashington.org

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 21, 2005
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matcrazy1

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