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Yet another question about which DC Metro pass to purchase

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Jun 16th, 2013, 11:05 AM
  #1
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Yet another question about which DC Metro pass to purchase

We will be in Washington DC this July for a week. We’re staying near the Dupont Circle Metro stop and plan on using the metro to get around the city for the week. Mostly we’ll be travelling to the museums on the mall and the monuments and Capitol Hill.

I think what we want to purchase is the 7day short trip pass, but the information’s wording that I’m having trouble with is concerning the peak hour time periods. Does this mean that we have to travel within those hours only? If this is the case then should we consider purchasing the 7 day Metro fast pass which would give us unlimited Metro travel? Or should it be the SmarTrip pass? Thanks.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 04:59 AM
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topping. Please?
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Jun 17th, 2013, 08:02 AM
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You want the 7 Day Short Trip Pass. You can travel whenever and wherever you want on metro rail and buses. The peak hours business means that if the cost of the trip exceeds $3.50 (which it can do during peak hours depending on the destination) you will need to pay the difference. But the use you've described should be less than $3.50 a ride. So:

Buy the SmarTrip card on line for $10.00. That includes the $5 cost of the card plus $5 loaded onto the card.

Buy the 7 Day Short Trip Pass and add the value to your SmarTrip card.

The 7 day pass is activated the first time you use it. You've probably already seen that the Metro website has a trip planner which includes the cost of the journey. Peak hours are, not surprisingly, morning and afternoon rush but I forget exactly what the hours are.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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Agree - from the Dupont station, anywhere in DC will be well under $3 - even during peak fare times. Look here for yourself - http://www.wmata.com/rail/station_de...m?station_id=6 and go to the "Metrorail Fares" pull-down tab to experiment.

Even the close-in suburbs such as Arlington cemetery are under the limit but if you head further outside of DC, such as King St. Old Town Alexandria, VA (during peak hours), you'll need to pay a small difference.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 10:45 AM
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Thanks obxgirl and bardo. SmarTrip card and 7 day short pass it is then. We are arriving in DC by train at Union Station, then going straight from there to Dupont Circle to hotel. From what I've learned by searching around online (and on the wmata site you mentioned bardo) one cannot buy the SmarTrip card at Union station. One would have to leave the station and go to a nearby CVS, for example, right? I suppose just make it easy and buy them online then activate them when we arrive. I appreciate the clarification.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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Since they moved away from paper fares for a lot of things, SmarTrip is available at all stations according to the Metro website.

"Purchasing a SmarTrip® Card
It's easy to buy a SmarTrip® card. Purchase your card online with any major credit or debit card.
You can also purchase a SmarTrip® card at any Metrorail station or at Metro sales offices, retail outlets and commuter stores."

http://www.wmata.com/fares/smartrip/

You can contact Metro to doublecheck if nobody here can confirm for you that they have them now.
http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/contact.cfm
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Jun 17th, 2013, 01:52 PM
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Thanks vjpb. I may contact them (wmata) about availability at Union station. But I'm also thinking that buying online would be the easiest, now that I know what to buy.
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Jun 17th, 2013, 04:16 PM
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bookmarking for my trip this fall. great advice!
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Jun 17th, 2013, 04:17 PM
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I bought my Smarttrip card at Union Station last year so they should still be available
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Jun 19th, 2013, 10:51 AM
  #10
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Okay. Sometimes things aren’t as simple as one wants them to be. I went online to purchase 5 SmarTrip cards and load each of them with a 7 day Short Trip pass. I wanted to have 2 sent to me (husband and me) and 3 to my son & family in another state. We plan to arrive in DC by train on different days and from different directions. I thought I’d be generous and purchase all five and we’d all have them ahead of time. But they can’t be sent to different addresses if purchased with one credit card billing.

I called WMATA and after a few conversations I found out a better and cheaper way would be to purchase at Union Station, the Metro section of Union Station, (as you said you did, tch). They suggested I purchase a $5. SmarTrip card with no value at a Card dispenser, then at a Passes/Farecard machine purchase and load the card with a 7 day Short Trip pass at $35. They also said that there are Station managers nearby to help if confused. My son and family will need to do the same when they arrive. Cost combination of $40. each, not $45. So, is this correct?
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Jul 12th, 2013, 01:35 PM
  #11
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Update. We bought the SmarTrip Pass for $10 ($5 for the pass and $5 loaded), then loaded $25 more on to that card. We were there for a week and this amount of money lasted the entire time, down to the last dollar. The reason why we did this, and not what we had planned to do in my above posts, was that the station manager helping us advised that if the card “de-magnetized” we could get the unused portion back, whereas with the 7 Day Short Pass we would lose the remainder on it. And, he said that the cards do this on occasion. We were tired on arrival, so took his advice. It worked out well for us.
It had been awhile since we were in DC. It is an amazing city!
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