Guest Author - Donna Ledbetter
Metro locations are found throughout the greater Washington, DC, metropolitan area. This includes areas in Washington, DC proper and suburbs of Maryland and Virginia. In the suburb areas, metro stations are accessible by car and include areas for paid parking. These limited spaces go fast in the earliest hours of the morning during the weekday. Most often commuters who live in Maryland and Virginia will drive to a metro station, park their car, and then get to work on the metro. Many businesses are within walking distance of a metro stop.
If you are driving in from out of town, you will want to park your car at one the metro stations with a parking lot rather than fight traffic and waste time trying to find a parking spot in the city. Parking rates are currently about $4.00 for all day parking. You may use either a credit card or a Smart Pass to pay for parking. All metro stations also have metered parking with machines that accept only quarters.
When you enter the metro station, you will most likely do so by elevator or escalator. Although there are some metro centers that are connected to hotels and shopping malls. When you enter the metro by escalator, be sure to STAND to the right to allow others pass on the right. This is one of the unspoken rules of riding the metro. Following it can keep you from standing out as a tourist. On the weekends, when tourist levels are highest, it may not be possible to pass because other unknowing tourists ahead are blocking you. When this occurs, just politely excuse yourself, and usually you will be able to get by.
When traveling with a stroller or large bags, use the elevator. You will, however, see local residents prop strollers on the escalators. This practice is frowned upon, though, because it places your child at risk of injury or death. In the event that an escalator malfunctions, both you and your child could be hurt.
When you have finally reached the platform and are ready to board the train, you will commonly hear an announcement giving you instructions on the proper way to board the train. In a nutshell, you are to wait for passengers to exit before you board. And when you do board, move to the center of the car. Do not stand in the doorway because at the next stop, other passengers will need to board as well.
Moving away from the doorways is also good advice to consider when exiting the train. Do not stand at the doorway to collect yourself and get your bearings. Locals can spot tourists based on this behavior as well. Move to the center of the platform and then decide on the direction you’d like to go.
For related articles, check out the Washington, DC destinations page at the start of the MidAtlantic USA site.