We “got around” in DC, thanks to the Metro.

When I was in Washington, DC last week with my SIL and a friend, we stayed in a suburb and took the Metro anywhere we went that wasn’t on the tour bus.

This map made it very easy to figure out which line to take to wherever we were going.

The stations were mostly underground, but the trains travel both underground and above ground.

You got your ticket from a machine.  And if you decided to go on to somewhere further than your original destination, you could put your almost depleted ticket into one of the machines and add money to it.

Someone I’ve talked to since we got back said that they had heard that the DC Metro was “scary”, but I never felt that.  Of course, I was never traveling on one alone and we rode them almost exclusively during daylight.

When we had questions the “regulars” sitting around us were always very helpful.  When I was talking to one young man about how we could make sure we didn’t miss getting off at the right stop, he told me that for our stop we should count three stops after daylight!   Then he explained, because it was obvious we weren’t “locals”, he meant get off at the third stop after the train went from underground to above ground.

The trains were always on schedule and clean and the passengers were friendly and helpful.  This was my first experience with a metro train system and it was a very positive one.

6 Responses to We “got around” in DC, thanks to the Metro.

  1. C. Beth says:

    That’s great! I’ve ridden the subway in Boston and NYC. Boston’s is really easy to get around. NYC is a nightmare!! There are express trains that DON’T stop at every stop, and local trains that DO stop at every stop. It’s easy to get on the wrong train and get lost. But we found that people who worked for the transportation authority there were very friendly and helpful. I even took the trains by myself to get to the airport at the end of our trip, and I was quite proud of myself! 🙂

  2. carlahoag says:

    We enjoyed using the metro subway system in Washington, D.C. also. They were clean and well maintained. However, we found ourselves at an unmanned stop and needed change for the ticket machine and didn’t have it. (There wasn’t a change machine.) Thankfully, one of the fellow passengers was able to make a trade for us.

    I much prefer this kind of system to buses.

  3. Sandra says:

    Beth — Your description of the NYC trains fits all the nightmares I had about this kind of transportation. I’ll be sure to never use one there! I’m impressed that you used it by yourself — brace girl. 🙂

    Carla — Scary! I don’t know how long ago that was but the machines that sell the tickets now give change. After our very favorable experience, I’m a fan of this kind of system too! 🙂

  4. thesmittenimage says:

    Sounds like a decent experience. My native Montreal has a good Métro (notice the accent to prove it’s French!) system but I haven’t been there in years. The last subway I rode was in Boston and it was similar to what you describe. It’s a fine way to get around.

  5. Linda says:

    My only experience with this kind of transportation was with the “EL” in Chicago. I would have been traumatized if I hadn’t been with someone who knew the ropes. I’m sure the conductor that announced the stops wasn’t speaking English. 🙂

  6. Sandra says:

    Linda — I know what you mean about the conductor not speaking English. We only rode on one Metro where you could actually tell what the Conductor was saying. The rest of the time it was lucky for us there were big signs on the walls of the stations that told what stop it was. 🙂

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