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DC metro: Smart trip card, 7 day fast pass or 7 day short trip pass?

DC metro: Smart trip card, 7 day fast pass or 7 day short trip pass?

Mar 26th, 2013, 07:06 PM
  #1  
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DC metro: Smart trip card, 7 day fast pass or 7 day short trip pass?

I'll be in the city for 6 nights and plan to use the metro and walk. I am flying in and out of DCA, staying near Dupont Circle and plan to do regular touristy things. Which of the above options do you think will suit me best? If the smart trip card, how much should I load to begin with?

Thanks.
Iregeo is offline  
Mar 26th, 2013, 07:54 PM
  #2  
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Nevermind! I figured it out.
Iregeo is offline  
Mar 27th, 2013, 08:13 AM
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For future visitors, I'll answer.

A 7-day short trip pass is the answer for visitors who will stay in central DC (roughly Capitol Hill to G'town to Adams-Morgan) or close-in Va (Crystal City to Court House) and use Metro rail or bus more than about 15 times. If you do make one or two longer trips in peak hours (Old Town Alexandria, for example), you will need to add fare to exit the station, but it would probably be a dollar or less, so there's no need in this situation for the unlimited 7-day pass.
kayd is offline  
Mar 27th, 2013, 08:59 AM
  #4  
 
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Thanks for the explanation kayd. Another tip: never put one of those flat refrigerator magnets in the same pocket as your Metro card. I had to show my card to a guard to get in and out.
Luckily, it was only a card that I put on the exact fare that I needed for the day.
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Mar 28th, 2013, 05:37 PM
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kayd, I thought the short trip pass was not valid for bus fare?
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Mar 29th, 2013, 05:36 AM
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Oops, you are right, Iregeo--metro short trip pass is good only for rail. I was confusing that with regular SmarTrip, which I use on bus and rail. Thanks for the catch.
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Mar 29th, 2013, 09:30 AM
  #7  
 
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Yeah, that's a key difference for DC mass transit from other metro areas. You need the plastic card purchased from a CVS drug store to use on both Metro and bus lines. We missed that detail on our trip.
5alive is offline  
Mar 29th, 2013, 10:32 AM
  #8  
 
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The $5 reloadable plastic SmarTrip card is now available from vending machines in the stations, as well as at more retail locations. It is really worth buying (one for each member of your group) if you will ride Metro at least five times because last summer the fares were changed to add a $1-per-trip surcharge for using paper farecards.
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Mar 29th, 2013, 06:37 PM
  #9  
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I purchased the short trip pass. Now, let's see if I'll get my money's worth!
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Mar 30th, 2013, 01:27 PM
  #10  
 
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kayd, that is awesome the plastic cards are now in the stations. I didn't know they existed when I bought the paper ones; found out too late. And they added that trip charge while we were there in DC so it was a real surprise.
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Apr 4th, 2013, 08:54 AM
  #11  
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Well, my trip has come and gone, and I had a fabulous time! FWIW, I absolutely got my money's worth from the short trip pass. It was way more convenient than buying tickets piecemeal, and it paid for all of my metro travel. I did pay separately ($6) for the 5a bus to take me out to IAD when my DCA flight was delayed such that I would have missed a connection. Better for me...I got a nonstop flight!

Can't wait to visit again.
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Apr 5th, 2013, 08:50 AM
  #12  
 
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Glad it worked out...hope you are doing a trip report! If so please put a link to it here.
5alive is offline  
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