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Metro pass required in D.C. for a 6 days stay?

Metro pass required in D.C. for a 6 days stay?

Mar 18th, 2010, 02:47 PM
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Metro pass required in D.C. for a 6 days stay?

We'll be staying in D.C. for 6 days during the Cherry Blossom Festival. Our hotel (Westin Grand) is near the Foggy Bottom metro. We plan to attend festival events and go all over the city, but we're quite robust walkers. Is a metro pass recommended? Which type should we get?

JC98 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Personally, I'd get one. I think you get a SmartCard and load money onto it. Here's a web site that explains it and allows you to prepurchase the cards, which might be a good idea since you're there during a busy time. http://dc.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ...purchase/store

Are you flying, and if so, are you flying into Reagan? You can take the metro from Reagan to Foggy Bottom. Much cheaper than a cab, and more fun.
ksbeem is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 08:17 PM
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fmpden is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 08:18 PM
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We take the metro a LOT when we are in DC as we are this week. A 7 day unlimited pass is about $26 which is only $2-$3 more than 3 one day passes. This pass also allows you to ride during morning rush hour which a day pass does not. You may come out cheaper on a SmarTrip which you load and add money to as needed, but the metro ticket office told me if you ride 4 rides a day for 4 days, you break even.
crepes_a_go_go is offline  
Mar 18th, 2010, 08:51 PM
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Sorry, this suburbanite feels like a dud when it comes to big city public transportation. So, does the SmarTrip give you the same discount as the unlimited pass? Or it's just a card to hold pre-purchased fares? It looks like the Obama commemorated SmarTrip card is a good deal -- it gives you $10 free if you pay $20? Am I reading this right?

Thanks for your help!
JC98 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 01:21 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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You are not reading it right. Smartcards are hard plastic like a credit card. You either pay $5 for the standard card or $10 for the Obama card. That is the cost to just have the card. You then have to add money to it. Also you can't get a smartcard at any station. You can purcahse it at Metro Center as that is where a sales office is and in certain CVS stores in the district. I know you can order online so that is an option. With a smartcard you just touch the card to the "smartcard" logo on the turnstile and it opens. If you travel to DC enough it comes in handy.

I would go with the weekly pass. This is paper. You put this one in the machine where noted and it pops back up at the top of the machine assuming it is not a turnstile for the disabled. If that is the case it will pop back out where youput it in. Why do I tell you this....because you need that card to get out at the end of your ride. You do the same thing at the stop you exit out. That is how the system knows how much to charge you.
denice7 is online now  
Mar 19th, 2010, 06:48 AM
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The SmartCard could cost quite a bit more than a weekly pass because you pay $5 for the card plus the posted fare for each trip, no discount anytime. It is a convenience for commuters (load a month's worth of fare up to $300 at once with credit or debit card; can be replaced if lost) and is required for payment in Metro parking lots.

A weekly short-trip pass ($28) allows unlimited use for trips of up to $2.65 value (essentially, within DC and close-by Va stations), so if you use it 3x/day you'll have come out ahead. If you use the card for a longer trip, you add the fare difference for that trip as you exit the station. If you were staying farther from downtown, eg Chevy Chase, you'd probably want the $40 weekly unlimited pass. Here are the details:

kayd is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 09:11 AM
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Ok, thanks all for the clarification. It sounds like for short term tourists, the SmartCard is not useful and shouldn't be brought up as an option.

JC98 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 04:55 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Unless you're a senior, are disabled or are a student. In all those cases you can get a special SmartCard that entitles disabled to travel for free/half fare, seniors to travel at half fare on the Metrorail, etc.

Check out kayd's website for more information, if you qualify.

I love the Metro system in Washington, it is easy, convenient and clean.

Have a good trip!
easytraveler is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 02:18 PM
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If you are robust walkers as u described, u may not even use the metro that much. DC is very walkable and u could just buy metro cards as you need then or buy a card the first time u use the metro and load it with $10-$15 or so and use it when u want to take the metro instead of walking. Really depends on how much u enjoy walking. I wouldn't spend $28 for a weekly pass if I was visiting DC and not planning on going to the suburbs.
yestravel is offline  
Mar 21st, 2010, 04:54 PM
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Kayd, could you clarify what is meant by "short trip"? We will be traveling from the Rosslyn station and basically just going daily into DC, with one trip to Alexandria (King St. Station). Would these trips qualify?
azzure is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2010, 06:59 AM
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Short trips are defined as those of a value of $2.65 or less. Rosslyn is central enough that all the major DC sights are within that limit. For fares between any two stations, refer to the Metro website:
Click on the name of any station for the peak and reduced fares from there to all other stations.
kayd is offline  
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