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Metro - warning newbie question

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Tequesta, Florida
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Metro - warning newbie question

while it is likely that this question is answered somewhere deep in this forum, I wish to streamline my search.

1) from what little I have read thus far, I am hoping that I can buy a card and just put a certain amount of money on it, say $20 or so, then just use it until it gets low instead of having to figure out the price per fare depending on the time of day, etc.

2) if the card gets low on balance how does the system let me know.

3) are the subway stations safe enough even after 10 p.m. or so, or is it best that I avoid later returns back to my hotel? I will be using the metro station at Reagan airport as my endpoint since my hotel has a free shuttle to/from the airport.

Thanks in advance for helping me.

John

Silver Spring...
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1. Re: Metro - warning newbie question

1. yes

2. it is a paper farecard and the new total will print on it.

3. I think so and I would not hesitate to ride it anytime it is open. Last statistics I saw, there is a 1 in 2,000,000 chance of being a victim of a crime and that would likely be a theft of an ipod or something like that.

Having said that, there was a very large fight on the Green line a couple of weeks ago among about 70 teenagers and "young adults." When I heard about it, I asked my boyfriend (a lifelong DC resident) if he'd heard about the fight on Metro and he just laughed because he thought I was making it up. That is how rare you hear about really bad stuff. Once in a while, I hear about some teenagers assaulting a Metro busdriver, though. You can ride in the front car if you feel more comfortable; that is where the driver is.

I did notice the last time I rode the Green line (which was a Friday around 7:30) that there were more "dirt bags" on it than on my line (Red)

Edited: 16 August 2010, 19:15
Arlington, Virginia
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2. Re: Metro - warning newbie question

My recent-college-grad daughter rides the Metro home from work every night around 11:30 pm. There are plenty of people riding Metro after 10 pm and my daughter has no qualms about riding that late at night.

Edited: 16 August 2010, 19:43
Arlington, VA
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3. Re: Metro - warning newbie question

Safe!!

Do you mind if I ask what hotel you are staying at?? I live near this area and might be able to give you some additional tips.

Walnut Creek...
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4. Re: Metro - warning newbie question

""1) from what little I have read thus far, I am hoping that I can buy a card and just put a certain amount of money on it, say $20 or so, then just use it until it gets low instead of having to figure out the price per fare depending on the time of day, etc.""

Just buy one 7-day short-trip pass for $32.25, and you won't have to worry about either fares or recharging your pass (unless you'll be making commute-hour trips to far-away stations).

""2) if the card gets low on balance how does the system let me know.""

If you'll be traveling more than 3 days, get the above pass. If you'll be using the system 3 days or less, get a one-day pass for $9.

"3) are the subway stations safe enough even after 10 p.m. or so, or is it best that I avoid later returns back to my hotel? I will be using the metro station at Reagan airport as my endpoint since my hotel has a free shuttle to/from the airport.""

I also like to stay at hotels near DCA. Most are within walking distance of the Crystal City station, so you won't have to worry about shuttling to the airport.

Wisconsin
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5. Re: Metro - warning newbie question

Spouse and I just visited DC the 2nd week of August for five days. We purchased the 7-day short trip pass on-line, and had it in hand the mintue we arrived at Union Station (on Amtrak). It worked so well, we would recommend it to anyone. We used it several times daily, with no worry about adding to the card. It is very easy to figure out how the metro system works, and you can use it to go most anywhere. There are machines at the metro stations, but there were generally people standing in line to use them, and getting them on-line allows you to make your decision and have your passes before you travel.

Salt Lake City
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6. Re: Metro - warning newbie question

We just got back from Washington. Because we knew we were going to be making several trips each day, we bought a day pass each day. It was cost efficient for us. If you don't have enough money on the card, or if you are using a day pass card during restricted hours, it won't open the gate and you'll see a little message on the turnstile telling you to see an attendant, who will assist you. In four days, we only interacted with 1 attendant who was rude. Most were extremely helpful and friendly. If you buy a ticket each time you ride, you'll quickly be spending more money than you would with a day pass, but if you end up needing just one more ride and not wanting to buy another day pass, there are "exit fare" machines that will allow you to add money to your card. We never needed to do that, so I can't tell you details about how that works.

We stayed at a hotel two stops away from Reagan airport and wouldn't have hesitated to be on the subway late at night in that area (King St., Alexandria).

7. Re: Metro - warning newbie question

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