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Getting In and Around Washington DC

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Washington D.C. is a planned city and there are vast network of transportation system to navigate around the city. It has been recorded that DC has the 2nd highest percentage of  people that use public transportation in the US. If you don't mind paying a hefty amount for car rentals, there are numerous car rental companies, taxi services to get you in and around the city. Truth be told, driving in DC is a tedious task and is not recommended. Hop in any Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority public transportation system (metro trains or the buses) - An excellent and cost effective way to explore this beautiful city.

Image by Joe Ravi via Wikimedia Commons

Getting to Washington DC

By Air

The three major airports that serve DC are - Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). There are also smaller regional hubs, such as Richmond International Airport (RIC) and Norfolk International Airport (ORF).

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD): IAD is owned and operated by Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. The Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area is excellently served by IAD, which the busiest airport in the region. IAD serves as the hub for
Silver Airways and United Airlines.

Address: 1 Saarinen Cir, Dulles
Phone: 1 703-572-2700
Website: http://flydulles.com/iad/dulles-international-airport

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA): Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is a public commercial airport, owned and operated by Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. It is located closest to the capital and serves the Washington Metropolitan Area. DCA is the hub for US Airways.

Address: Arlington, VA 22202
Phone: 1 703-417-8000
Website: www.mwaa.com/reagan/reagan.htm

Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI): BWI is owned by Maryland Aviation Administration. In terms of passenger count, it is the largest public airport that serves the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area. By number of departures, BWI is the 3rd largest airport and it is also a focus city for Southwest Airlines.

Address: Baltimore, MD 21240
Phone: 1 410-859-7111
Website: www.bwiairport.com

Getting to/from the Airport

To/From Union Station and the BWI terminal stop
  • MARC ($7, 40 minutes)
  • Amtrak ($16, 40 minutes)
  • B30 bus: Runs to Greenbelt Metro ($6.30, 40 minutes)
To/From Washington Dulles International Airport
  • Metrobus 5A: Runs from Dulles to Rosslyn Metro station and takes about 35 minutes. Takes 48 minutes from Dulles to central DC (L’Enfant Plaza, 48 minutes). The bus frequency is every 30 to 40 minutes. $8 is charged for the combo bus/Metro fare. Click Here for more details.
To/From Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
  • Metrorail: National airport operates its own Metro rail station, that is affordable and fast. Read more.

  • Supershuttle: This is a convenient service that offer door-to-door shuttle connectivity between downtown DC and Dulles (Fare: $29), BWI ($37) and National ($14)

    Phone: 800-258-3826
    Website: www.supershuttle.com
    Hours: 5:30am-12:30am

  • Washington Flyer: It runs from Dulles to West Falls Church Metro every 30 minutes. The fare is about $10. Get more details here.

By Train

Train services in DC is provided by Amtrak and MARC (Maryland Rail Commuter).

Amtrak: It links DC to major towns, such as Baltimore, MD; Harpers Ferry, WV; Wilmington, DE; and Manassas, Newport News, Richmond, Fredericksburg, Williamsburg, and Charlottesville in Virginia.

Phone: 800-872-7245
Website: www.amtrak.com

MARC: This serves as the regional rail service for the Washington DC and Baltimore metro area. It provides connectivity to Harpers Ferry, WV($15, 80 minutes); Baltimore ($7, 71 minutes) and other Maryland towns (from $4 to $12).

Website: www.mta.maryland.gov

By Bus

Greyhound and numerous affordable bus services connect DC to various towns and key cities, such as New York, Richmond and Philadelphia. You can buy the bus tickets online or on the bus, depending on seats availability.

Bus Services:

BoltBus: Leaves from the upper level of Union Station.
Phone: 877-265-8287
Website: www.boltbus.com

DC2NY: Leaves near Dupont Circle.
20th St & Massachusetts Ave NW
Phone: 202-332-2691
Website: www.dc2ny.com

Greyhound: Greyhound provides nationwide services. Its terminal is located a few blocks north of Union Station and it is advisable to take a cab to reach there after dark.
1005 1st St NE
Phone: 202-589-5141
Website: www.greyhound.com

Megabus: Leaves from Union Station.
Phone: 877-462-6342
Website: www.us.megabus.com

Peter Pan Bus Lines: These lines travel to northeastern United States. Its terminal is located just opposite Greyhound’s.
Phone: 800-343-9999
Website: www.peterpanbus.com

1320 19th St NW, Union Station
Phone: 866-287-6932
Website: www.washny.com

Check out the best tourist spots in Washington DC!

Getting In-and-Around Washington DC

Public Transportation

Circulator: The buses run every 10 minutes and link to many places and routes, including Union Station to & from Georgetown. The cost of one-way fare is $1. Buses accept cash and SmarTrip cards. Click Here to get more details.

Metrobus: Operates buses throughout the city and suburbs; have exact change handy ($1.80). For more information, Click Here.

Check out the bus maps here.

Metrorail: The Metro train lines in DC are distinguished by 6 color coded lines. This is arguably one of the most convenient and best transportation means in the city. The connectivity it provides is excellent and conveniently links to almost all major sights, business districts, hotels, and also to Virginia and Maryland suburbs. You can avail computerized fare cards from machines inside stations.

Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday from 5 am and on weekends from 7 am. Last service ends at 12 am (Sunday to Thursday) and at 3 am (Fridays and Saturdays)

Fares: From $1.60 (children below 5 years can ride free). One day/seven days unlimited travel passes: From $14/57.50.
From $2.15 to $5.90 during weekday rush hours and the weekends. Rest of the time, cost ranges from from $1.75 to $3.60.

**If you use paper fare card, there is surcharge of $1.

Phone: 202-637-7000
Website: www.wmata.com

If you're here in the city for a couple of days or vacationing, it is advisable to buy a $10 SmarTrip card, that will save you some money while exploring the city. This is a plastic rechargeable public transportation ticket.

Washington DC Taxi/Cab Services

There are plenty of metered taxis available in DC. You can easily locate them lined up outside notable landmarks and major hotels. For the first 1/8 mile, it will charge $3.25 and an additional $0.27 for each added 1/8 mile and for every minute of wait time. $1 is applied for each additional passenger. Note that the taxis will charge more during declared snow emergencies.

Taxi Transportation Service

Washington, DC
Phone: 1 202-398-0500

Yellow Cab Company of D.C.
1636 Bladensburg Rd NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 1 202-546-7900

V.I.P. Cab Company
Washington, DC
Phone: 1 202-269-9000

Icon Cab Auto (Car Service Station)

2002 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 1 202-370-6364

Meritt Cab Association (Car Service Station)
1801 Adams St NE, Washington, DC 20018
Phone: 1 202-554-7900

Airport Taxi
Silver Spring, MD
Phone: 1 202-285-1632

White Top Cab Company (Taxi Service)
3706 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305
Phone: 1 703-683-4004

Dulles Airport Taxi
1234 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 1 202-246-6666

Capitol Cab
Phone: 202-636-1600

Phone: 202-387-6200

Yellow Cab
Phone: 202-544-1212

Map Guide on Getting In and Around Washington DC

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