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Is the DC Metro safe for a visiting family to use?

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Is the DC Metro safe for a visiting family to use?

We'll be in DC for Spring Break near the L'Enfant Plz stop, this seems to be an easy way to get around but is it safe for an out of town family to use?

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Is the DC Metro safe for a visiting family to use?

Absolutely 100% yes. It is one of the safest Metro systems in America and used by hundreds of thousands of tourists and locals alike every day.

Silver Spring...
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2. Re: Is the DC Metro safe for a visiting family to use?

Give us a break

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Is the DC Metro safe for a visiting family to use?

Just make a plan for what to do if separated. The Metro doors CLOSE and do not retract on contact. Don not try to hold doors or you will "break the train" forcing eberybody to get off and wait for another. Not an nice thing to do.

Plan A: People on train get off at next stop and wait for others.

Plan B: People on train go to destination stop and wait for others on the platform (there are uisually more than one exit, far apart).

I prefer plan A.

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4. Re: Is the DC Metro safe for a visiting family to use?

I might very well be the most suspicious person on this board when it comes to safety. I will often tell people things that I believe to be true, even though it may offend others.

With that being said, let me assure you that you will have no problems on Metro, especially since you will be staying in the tourist/business/mall area of the city. The only qualifier I might add to that is to keep an eye out going from the Metro to your hotel. That is not a bad area, but at nights and weekends all the gov't workers are gone and the place is rather quiet. Not dangerous, but quiet, so it doesn't hurt to be aware of your surroundings.

There were occasional, but not frequent, reports of tourists being assaulted on The Mall while walking it at night. Once again, if you keep your eyes open you should be OK.

DC has changed so much that it is almost impossible for a tourist to accidently walk into a bad area anymore.



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5. Re: Is the DC Metro safe for a visiting family to use?

I have to reiterate Honu_Ohana's sentiment. This afternoon's rush hour, Tourist Mom and 5-year-old got on the train, doors closed, 9-year-old sister was still on the platform. Much panic ensued inside the car and the operator mercifully opened the doors, but probably only because this was close to his position in the front car and he could figure out what was happening.

It may seem obvious, but hold hands when maneuvering yourself onto, off of, or through a train car to avoid separation from children.

Try to stay off the trains during the peak of rush hours if possible.

If trains are crowded, work your group towards the doors AT LEAST ONE STOP BEFORE you need to get off. If you're not sitting close to the doors and you wait until the train rolls into the station to get up from your seat, you won't make it off.

Stand to the right on escalators, leave room on the left for those walking.

Hope this helps. You will find Metro to be safe in the conventional meaning of the term, but it is not incredibly family-friendly at peak times.

Oregon Coast
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6. Re: Is the DC Metro safe for a visiting family to use?

We just returned from DC and I will add a visitor's observations and suggestions ;-)

The cars at either end of the train tend to be less crowded than the middle ones.

If you are at a busy station during rush hour and there is a huge crowd, just step back, let them go and wait a few minutes for the next train.

When you enter the cars, *keep moving* so others can get on behind you!

When you exit the cars, keep moving, and step out of the way so others can exit and enter.

On the escalators, stand on the right side, walk on the left. Remember people who work are in a hurry. If you wait a few moments out of the way, all the commuters will be gone and you can move more leisurely without holding anyone up.

Keep hold of your children and watch those doors!

Bay City, Michigan
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7. Re: Is the DC Metro safe for a visiting family to use?

Safe, safe, safe. We have used the Metro *the first time being very hesitant,* on our visits to DC and think it wonderful. I wouldn't worry about it at all, just take general precautions, like you would anywhere else, including Chicago.

knoxville, tn
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8. Re: Is the DC Metro safe for a visiting family to use?

very safe. But as was said be careful of the doors. My nephew was the last one to get on and his backpack got stuck in the doors luckly we were able to pull in in.

The metro system much easier to use than Rome's and the trains were cleaner.

Houston, Texas
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9. Re: Is the DC Metro safe for a visiting family to use?

I think that is a very valid question. I live in one of the largestncoties in the US but we don't have a Metro-type transportation system and had the same question. Taking the subway isn't familiar to us and safety while travelling is important. I grew up in New Orleans and know that tourists can unknowingly get placed in less-than-desired situations.

Off my soapbox and onto the OP, we just returned from DC and stayed close to the hill. At night there is less traffic around but we always felt safe and used Metro frequently.

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10. Re: Is the DC Metro safe for a visiting family to use?

Others have given some great tips--especially about finding less-crowded cars and busy stations.

I'm a native Washingtonian and have ridden the Metro my whole life. I've never felt unsafe or uncomfortable riding it, but you do need to practice a little common sense. Don't put yourself in a position where you're alone in a station if you can avoid it, don't provoke people, and if you do feel uncomfortable, you can move to a different car/location on the train platform.

Although the system can be crowded (you're better off avoiding it during rush hour on the weekdays), it's typically very safe.