Yeah! You’re moving to Northern Virginia, but your mind is racing with all sorts of questions, esp. about “the commute”. How long will the commute be if I live in Springfield, VA? What if I want to buy a house in Vienna, VA or Stafford, VA? What is the best option when it comes to commuting? Should I Slug, drive, ride Metro?
Honestly, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. What one person prefers is different from the next. We receive many questions from those moving to Northern Virginia who are unfamiliar with the popular and convenient Metro system for commuting into or around the city. Below we answer some of the questions you might be wondering about using Metro.
WHAT IS METRO?
DC’s Metro is a network of tunnels and above-ground connecting all four quadrants of DC with suburban Virginia and Maryland and includes 5 lines, 86 stations and 106.3 miles of track.
HOW DOES METRO WORK?
Metro consists of six color-coded lines: Blue, Red, Yellow, Orange, Green, and Silver. The lines are connected to each other via transfer stations & many Metro stops are serviced by more than one color. Each train car has an exterior electronic sign that marks the color and direction of the train. The direction is indicated by the final station of that line.
WHERE DOES EACH LINE GO:
Red: serves the northern part of the city. Main stations are: Union Station, Metro Center, Chinatown, and Dupont Circle.
Blue: runs west-east through the city and then south. Main stations are: Capitol South, Smithsonian, McPherson Square (White House), Arlington National Cemetery, National Airport.
Silver: runs west-east through the city. You can take this line to get as close to Dulles Airport as you can on public transportation.
Orange: runs east-west through the city. The orange/silver/blue lines follow the same tracks inside downtown. You will only need to pay attention to which train you’re on if you’re leaving the central area of the city.
Green: runs north-south. Take the Greenline to get to Navy-Yard/Nats Park Baseball Stadium. You can also use a bus from Greenbelt to get to BWI Airport.
Yellow: runs north-south. The yellow line shares a track with Green for most of downtown. Both lines visit L’Enfant Plaza but Yellow continues south to Virginia tot the Pentagon, National Airport and King Street for Old Town Alexandria.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO RIDE METRO
Each passenger must pay a fare; however, two children under age five may travel free with a paying passenger.
Metro fares are calculated by the time of day and how many stops you travel. During peak hours, fares range from $2.25 to $6 per trip. During off-peak hours, fares typically range from $1.85 to $3.85.
Metro riders must pay via SmarTrip card. These are plastic, rechargeable fare cards that can be purchased by cash or credit at any Metro station or in advance on wmata.com. Purchase farecards only from the authorized outlets.
(Fares as of 2019 – check wmata’s website for updated rates)
DOES IT COST TO PARK IN A METRO PARKING LOT?
Metro operates parking facilities at 44 Metrorail stations, of those stations, 36 offer reserved parking, where customers purchase permits to park in reserved spaces.
• Daily parking: Fees and policies vary by station. Use the search box above to view parking details for individual Metro station lots. Fares are collected upon exit during the following hours:
Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Friday 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
• Short-term metered parking: Cost is $1 per hour (quarters and $1 coins only.)
• Weekends and federal holidays: Parking at Metro-operated lots is free. Weekend and Federal Holiday operating hours are subject to change due to regional or special events.
• The monthly reserved parking fee is $45-$65 and is paid in addition to the regular daily parking rate.
WHAT ARE THE METRO HOURS?
DC Metro trains run Monday – Thursday, 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Friday, 5 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
During peak operating hours (weekdays, 5-9:30 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.), trains usually arrive every 8 minutes. At stations served by more than one line, trains will arrive every 3-4 minutes. At off-peak times, trains come every 12 minutes, while later trains typically arrive every 15-20 minutes.
CAN I GET TO THE AIRPORT USING METRO?
All three local airports are accessible via Metro (although you may need to use a shuttle or bus to get to your end destination).
DCA National Airport
Dulles (IAD) Airport
TIP: SIGN UP OR METRO ALERTS
MetroAlerts keeps you informed of:
• Major Metrorail and Metrobus delays and service disruptions
• Metrobus schedule changes and detours
• Metrorail advisories specific to your line or frequently used stations
• Other changes or enhancements to Metro service and facilities
Click here to sign up.
MOVING TO NORTHERN VIRGINIA
Whether this is your first move to Northern Virginia or your 5th, our team is here to assist you from start to finish.
Our dedicated team delivers unparalleled experience in every transaction. We offer unmatched market-leading expertise & technology. We work with buyers moving in from across the country, locally, and those coming in from oversees. Working with the Give Back Team you can trust you are working with top producing market leaders where our clients come first.