Quite simply, the Washington, DC Metro is the subway system for the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area. It travels through parts of Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia, making accessible those nearby regions that would otherwise be too far to travel. It has been a boon for reducing traffic congestion throughout the area, for both highway and inter-city travel.
Washington, DC daily experiences gross levels of traffic congestion, surpassed only by such metropolitan areas as Los Angeles and Manhattan. Washington, DC traffic lasts throughout the day and can sometimes be found even on weekends. This is mostly due to high levels of commuters during morning and evening rush hours and backups due to accidents. Riding on the metro can save you from the hassle of trying to brave local traffic, and so it is highly advised that travelers to the area make use of this great transit system.
The Metro is not without its own faults, however. On occasion, various metro lines (or routes) are shut down at certain intervals, thus causing delay. Most of these scheduled repairs occur on the weekend, with the bulk of them on Sunday. This does not cause much delay unless you are traveling on a line that does not “parallel” another. For example, the blue and orange lines are parallel; so when either the blue or orange is being worked on, travelers can simply take the opposite color line to get through.
Riding the metro is great for travelers, through, because it “opens doors” for travelers to commute between two states and the District. When planning your trip, make metro an integral part of your traveling plans. It will help you avoid costly cab service and save you time by bypassing the bus.
Residents in the Washington, DC metro area rarely drive because finding parking can be a huge obstacle and time waster. Thus, many residents in the area do not have cars and rely on public transportation to get them to and from work and recreation. This is also why real estate, whether it be a house or apartment complex, sells for high numbers and high rent depending on its proximity to the metro. There are other factors to consider, of course, but the metro is as much part of the commuter experience as it is just a part of the daily lives of those in Washington, DC.
No other MidAtlantic area besides New York has developed such an extensive connection to its transit system.
For related articles, check out the Washington, DC destinations page at the start of the MidAtlantic USA site.