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Confused about MetroRail fares/farecards etc

England
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Confused about MetroRail fares/farecards etc

We will be visiting from the UK at Easter and are planning to stay 3 nights somehere close to Rosslyn Metro Station.

We will have 2 full days of sightseeing and our priority will be everything in and around The National Mall.

I have been researching the MetroRail system but am confused about fares/farecards etc and am hoping that those with experience of this can help please.

I anticipate that we (self, husband and daughter(17)) will use the metrorail to travel from Rosslyn MetroRail station to somewhere around National Mall/Smithsonian area each morning and back to Rosslyn in the early evening (it always takes us a couple of days to adjust to the time difference)

From what I have seen I don't know if it will be economical to buy day passes or 'Smart' fare cards, but I can't find any information on the cost of individual fares in order to make the comparison.

What would you advise please?

Also, will everything be open/running as normal over Easter?

Thank you

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Confused about MetroRail fares/farecards etc

Unless you plan on taking Metro several times a day (not just twice), there is no point in paying the 1-Day Pass amount. My advice, for convenience, would be to get the SmarTrip card. You will get those couple of Metro rail trips each day and if you feel like it, you can also use it to ride the Circulator bus into Georgetown or Dupont Circle for some better meals than you will find in Rosslyn. Using a farecard to ride Metro rail cost $1 extra for every trip, so you will save the $5 cost of the SmarTrip card during your 3 day visit. And in case you hadn't noticed, that is one SmarTrip card for each person in your family.

Edited: 12 January 2013, 16:02
England
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2. Re: Confused about MetroRail fares/farecards etc

That's very helpful, thank you

I didn't think we would have time to visit Georgetown, two days hardly seems enough time for everything on offer at the National Mall

What value SmarTrip card would you think we would each need?

How would we work that out and what happens if we are short or over this value at the end of the two days?

Thanks again

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Confused about MetroRail fares/farecards etc

You can calculate exactly how much your trips will cost by using the trip planner at the Metro website, wmata.com

No one else can tell you how much your fares will be because it all depends on the time of day, the day of the week, the number of people in your party, and how far you travel on the Metro system.

Edited: 12 January 2013, 16:23
England
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4. Re: Confused about MetroRail fares/farecards etc

I've spent hours studying that website but hadn't managed to find the trip planner

Thank you

Washington DC...
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5. Re: Confused about MetroRail fares/farecards etc

The Trip Planner is right there on the Homepage, at the upper left. A trip from Rosslyn to Smithsonian (in the middle of The Mall) costs $1.70 during off-peak hours.

http://www.wmata.com/

I would start with the basic $10 SmarTrip, which is for $5 worth of travel. You can add a few dollars if you find you need it. If you end up with some value left, keep it for you next trip to DC. Or leave them for the person who cleans your room.

Edited: 12 January 2013, 16:57
washington dc
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6. Re: Confused about MetroRail fares/farecards etc

And you can buy the SmartTrip cards at any CVS drugstore.

England
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7. Re: Confused about MetroRail fares/farecards etc

I feel like such an idiot - how did I not see that?!

Thank you so much

There is a similar system for the London Underground called Oyster cards - I find that so confusing that I've given up going to London.....

I'm sure once we've arrived and made a couple of trips on the Metro it'll seem much simpler - we managed ok on the New York subway earlier this year!

thanks again for your help

Could I also ask, please, is everything likely to be operating as usual at Easter? Or are we likely to find many things closed?

Edited: 12 January 2013, 17:17
Washington DC...
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8. Re: Confused about MetroRail fares/farecards etc

You will find everything open. Easter is not a holiday, except for some school systems.

England
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9. Re: Confused about MetroRail fares/farecards etc

Can we also buy SmarTrip cards at the station?

Washington DC...
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10. Re: Confused about MetroRail fares/farecards etc

Yes, you can buy a SmarTrip card at any Metro station.

DC's Metro is far simpler than the amazing system in London. And changing lines is much easier than some of those in London, where you walk a mile just to change from one line to another. Here, you just do upstairs or downstairs. At Rosslyn, one level is outbound trains for both Blue and Orange and the other level is inbound. Very simple.