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Travel help with Metro

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Palm Springs...
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Travel help with Metro

My son and I are staying at Andrews Air Force Base at the end of March. We will be traveling into D.C. two consecutive week days to do some site seeing. I have been on the metro site and am having trouble deciphering which parking starts when and for how much. I planned on driving from the base to Branch Ave. I am not set on how early we will start, depends on my kiddo but not too late. A problem I have been coming up with is that the site lists the all day sites like this: All day spaces: 3,072 (Fees collected upon exit, 10:30 am to Metrorail system closing). Does this mean the parking for these spots become available at 10:30? Does anyone have any advice on when I should get there? What's the best time to get there? Will I have trouble finding a parking spot? Should I go to a different location? Thanks.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
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2,850 posts
41 reviews
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1. Re: Travel help with Metro

The lot is open 24 hours in terms of your ability to drive in and out. The hours you list are the hours the toll gates are down to collect the parking fee. You need a Smarttrip card (available to buy at the station and elsewhere) to pay the parking fee when you exit, so make sure you have enough cash on one card to pay that. I don't know if that station fills by a certain time on the weekdays (some other stations do); maybe others can advise. Last tip is to leave nothing of value visible inside your car. That lot has relatively higher car crimes than many others. Overall rate is still low, though.

Olney, Maryland
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6,613 posts
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2. Re: Travel help with Metro

Each of you needs your own SmarTrip card to ride the Metro. One of the cards may be used to exit the parking lots. The 10:30 time is when they start collecting fees to exit. If one arrive the night before and left at 10:20 AM, it would be free. Assume you will be paying upon exit (I think $4.75).

I do not think it completely fills up, but there are always the other stations on the line with parking, like Southern Avenue and Anacostia that have parking lots/garages. Some web sites might have people's comments about whether it fills up. Google "Branch Avenue Metro Parking", or "Anacostia Metro Parking".

Palm Springs...
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3. Re: Travel help with Metro

Thank you so much!

Palm Springs...
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4. Re: Travel help with Metro

That makes it so much clearer! Thanks.

Annapolis
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128 posts
249 reviews
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5. Re: Travel help with Metro

Branch Avenue does not fill up. Also if you arrive after 10:00am you will see spaces marked "reserved". These are premium spaces people pay extra for. After 10:00am, anyone can park there as long as your vehicle is gone before 2:00am. These will be closer spaces. Do not park in them before 10:00am, and yes they ticket at 9:55am. so wait until 10:00.

Palm Springs...
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6. Re: Travel help with Metro

Awesome. Thanks!

7. Re: Travel help with Metro

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