What is public transportation like in Washington D.C.?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Mary Beth Albright

Even if you have a driver to cart you around the city, the metro subway system is an amazing alternative travelers should check out. It can be a quick alternative to driving when the city is gridlocked or streets are closed for DC’s innumerable protests, parades, and pickets. The subway goes into Maryland and Virginia, so it’s a great option even if you’re out in the ‘burbs.
If your destination isn’t Metro accessible, catch a cab – Washington’s bus system is byzantine and service can be spotty, often off schedule by more than 10 minutes. Taxis recently changed to a straightforward meter system to calculate charges, banishing DC’s confusing zone system. And there’s always Uber, the private-car-for-hire app, to hail a driver from your smartphone.
If you’re downtown when it’s warm, look for the rickshaw bike riders – they’ll tow you in a wooden cart with a seat for two for about the cost of a cab. 

McLean Robbins

Washington has some of the nation's best public transportation. Within the city proper, the easiest way to get around is via the Metro system. Rides start at just under $2 each way and rise during peak morning and afternoon commute hours. During weekdays, the Metro operates from 5 AM to 12 AM and from 7 AM to 3 AM on weekends. The Metro lines are color coded and can be used to access almost all of DC proper as well as parts of Maryland and Virginia. There is also a Metro bus system that operates on the same farecard system. The easiest way to determine how to get somewhere via Metro is to use their website, wmata.com.

Other public transport options include the DC Circulator bus, which costs just $1 to ride and operates to many areas of the city that the Metro bus and Metro don't access, such as Georgetown. 

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