Washington DC

Figuring out the D.C. Metro

August 30, 2017
A subway station in Washington D.C.

Becoming a subway rider was one of my biggest adjustments as a new D.C. resident

I was a bus and bike commuter back in Minnesota, but quickly ditched public transit in Dallas. The roadway congestion in D.C. can get pretty gross during the week, so it was time to return to public transit.

Getting a card for the D.C. subway is relatively straight-forward, but there were a few surprises:

  1. No student discount. Unlike Minnesota, there’s no metro discount for Georgetown students. However the price is relatively cheap so this isn’t a huge deal.
  2. The heat. Michael insists that the subway has some sort of air conditioning, but it doesn’t feel like it. I was drenched in sweat when I got off of the subway during orientation week.
  3. The confusion. Once you get onto a train, it can be really difficult to keep track of your location. Most of the D.C. stations look identical underground and some older subway cars don’t have working monitors or P.A. systems, so you have to manually count to know what station you’re at.
The interior of Union Station in Washington D.C.

The interior of Union Station in Washington D.C.

During orientation, my subway trial runs were a disaster. 

I ended up calling an Uber at least twice while drenched in sweat on the side of random museums because I was lost.

Google maps is also uniquely unhelpful in D.C. because my reception barely works in the city.

I then discovered that the garage parking at the law school was free during orientation so I drove the rest of the week, resulting in substantially less body-funk. My classmates probably appreciated that. 

I finally figured out my subway route this week and we had a meaningful temperature drop, so I am officially a public transit commuter again.

As for cycling — I haven’t tried the local rideshare program yet. Perhaps that’ll be this weekend’s project.

  • Reply
    August 30, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    If you download the DC metro maps onto you phone while attached to WiFi you can navigate much better in areas where your reception is not as good. Just a tip! It is in the settings. Miss you! -your old neighbor Jenny

    • Jansen
      September 4, 2017 at 3:23 pm

      I will definitely need to do that — apparently I have the Dallas maps downloaded on my phone so it thinks I’m back in Texas everytime I have bad reception.

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