Getting Around in Washington, DC

By July 1, 2016Transportation

There are many transportation options in Washington, DC, from the Metro, the Metrobus, and the Circulator, to Capital Bikeshare. It’s important to know the details of each option.

The Metrorail operates from 5 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and from 7 a.m. to midnight on weekends. The Metro consists of six color-coded lines: Red, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Silver. During peak hours (weekdays, 5-9:30 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.), trains usually arrive every 5-6 minutes. At off-peak times, trains come every 12 minutes, while late-night trains arrive every 15-20 minutes. Helpful hint: When riding the escalator, STAND to your right, WALK to your left.

Metrobus runs hundreds of routes throughout the city and the greater Washington, DC area, with more than 1,400 buses. The base fare is less than $2. Passengers can travel with their bikes. All Metrobus vehicles are handicap accessible.

The DC Circulator has six specific routes designed for easy-on, easy-off access at points of interest throughout the District. Buses, all of which are handicap accessible, run every 10 minutes, and there is a $1 base fare for every trip.

Capital Bikeshare has over 350 stations across DC, Virginia, and Maryland. Its fleet includes more than 3,000 bicycles. There are six membership options: 24-hour, 3-day, Day Key, 30-day, annual or annual installment. Once you’re a member, you will get the first 30 minutes of each trip free and pay an additional fee for every 30 minute period thereafter.

For the Metrorail, Metrobus, and Circulator, riders can pay by purchasing a SmarTrip® card, which allows users to load a designated amount on the card for repeated swiping.

The city also has a fleet of more than 6,000 taxis. You can download the DC Taxi Rider app for your iPhone or Android, which allows you to choose from a variety of taxi types, see a fare and time estimate before you hail the cab, and pay either through the app or in the vehicle.

Other useful apps include Lime, Ofo, Jump, Spin, Mobike, and Bird for access to free-standing bikes and electric scooters.

Uber and Lyft are other popular transportation options in the city. UberDC offers uberX, uberXL, UberBLACK, UberSUV, and uberTAXI options, as well as uberPOOL. Lyft offers Lyft Line, Lyft Plus, Lux, Lux Black, Lyft XL, and Lux Black XL.

Washington, DC is also an incredibly walkable city. Numbered streets run south to north and lettered streets run east to west, and avenues with state names run diagonally through the city.


For interactive updates on transportation in the District, visit this goDCgo map.

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