Washington DC is one of the most captivating cities in the world and is currently one of the hottest tourist destinations. However, the city was not exactly designed for tourists and hence, it was a bit challenging for the visitors to get around at first. Thankfully, things have changed with the introduction of the metro rail system. Now, exploring the city is almost a cakewalk since you can go anywhere at a minimum cost and time with the help of metro trains.
Note that DC metro rail is an underground train system that will help the passengers to easily get around the surrounding suburbs and different parts of the city. Unsurprisingly, most locals in DC tend to rely on metro trains for their daily commutation. Hence, it will be a bit crowded here and a first-timer may find it a daunting task to get into a metro and reach the destination. In order to help you out with this, below are some of the brilliant tips and tricks that you may consider when it comes to riding a metro in DC.
Stand to the Right Side
During weekday mornings, the majority of the passengers in a metro will be the locals here who are on their way to work. When it comes to late afternoons, the locals will be rushing to their homes after a tiring day at their office. That means metro trains in DC will be extremely crowded during this time. If you stand on the escalator during this time and made it hard for your fellow passengers to rush, you are likely to get some furious stares.
To avoid this, there is an unwritten law here; stand on the right side of the escalator and walk on the left. On a related note, the escalators employed at DC metro stations are so wide that it can easily accommodate two-way traffic. So, stick on to the tip and let the traffic flow without any obstruction. For further details regarding the same, you may seek help from your private tour guide Washington DC.
When to Ride
Another factor that plays an important role when riding a metro is the time. You must be aware of the metro lines that are designated to your target spot as well as their timing. This is extremely crucial if you have a flight to catch or have an important meeting to attend. Sometimes, the metro trains going to your destination will be limited. So, a little pre-planning can help you enjoy a pleasant trip irrespective of the hurdles. For this, you must take factors such as the arrival time of your metro train, ticket fare, how crowded the train is likely to be, etc.
When it comes to metro ticket fares, there are two types of charges; peak fares and normal fare. The former is charged on weekdays from opening to around 09:30 am and between 03:00 and 07:00 pm. You can expect peak fares on weekends as well between midnight and the closing time. During other times, the fares will be normal and relatively less. Furthermore, you cannot expect metro trains to follow a fixed schedule. Note that during peak hours, you are likely to find a train every 5 to 8 minute. It will be 8 to 12 minutes and 12 to 20 minutes on weekday evenings and weekends respectively.
Try to Get a Seat near the Front
DC metros can be extremely crowded on the days of some special events or during the busiest commuting hours. Needless to mention, it will be almost impossible for a first-timer to find a seat in such cases. On top of that, the higher number of passengers is likely to make it uncomfortable for you to stand. You will be amazed to know that you can find a seat even in a fully-packed train car most of the times. Usually, people used to stand somewhere in the middle of the station and get into the middle train cars since it is more convenient.
Unfortunately, this is the strategy adopted by almost every metro rider and hence, the middle train cars will be pretty full. So, one of the best tactics that you can consider to beat the crowd, in this case, is to walk to the end of the station and get into any of the first 3 or 4 train cars. In most cases, these cars will be less packed and you can easily spot a couple of free seats here.
Study the Maps
Another issue that most newbies are likely to face while riding metro is the inability to spot and get down at their destination. To avoid this, always understand where you are going to and the number of stations in between. Fortunately, there are direction labels in every metro train that refer to the last station in that line. Still, it can be a bit confusing for a first-timer. In such cases, you can rely on a traditional metro map.
A metro map will show all the stations in between your boarding place and destination. However, the distances shown on the map will not be that accurate. Still, you will get an idea regarding your time of travel in this case. Otherwise, you can download an online metro map and enjoy your ride without any hassles.