18 July 2019

FGS Conference 2019 or Bust: METRO

I have been taking Metro for almost 17 years now to get to work. It's a love-hate relationship BUT for getting about in the metro DC area, it is a great option. Here are some notes for those of you who may not have been on the DC Metro system.

Here's a map of the whole system. The Omni Shoreham Hotel is located near the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan station on the RED Line.

PLEASE NOTE:  There are six (6) stations closed for platform repair on the Blue and Yellow lines south of the Ronald Reagan National Airport. Please see Commuter Page's information on alternatives. Also the Metro website, which is also known as WMATA, has service alerts listed with shuttle bus information.

Cards. First, you will need a SmarTrip card as Metro got rid of paper passes for both trains and buses. The cost of the card is $2.00 and you still need to add fare money to the card.

The fare machines do take cash and credit cards. (Note: If paying by credit card, get the receipt. Metro does have hiccups from time to time with transactions. Better safe than sorry is my motto!) The estimates for what the value of the trips will be on the fare machine.


Train cars. We have the "old" trains and the "new" trains. The "new" trains are the 7000 series trains. You may hear announcements that you are on one of these or that this train will be servicing the platform. These trains did NOT come with safety features for the visually impaired. Several people have fallen been the trains as there were no safety chains on them. They are slowly correcting it but until then they make the announcement assuming that you know what they are talking about. No worries must of us daily riders wondered about the announcement too!!

Handicap or Priority Seating. There are handicap or priority seats on the trains by the doors. Some of the older trains only have them by the center doors.

Elevators. There is an elevator from the platform to the main level and then again from the main level to the street at all the stations. Metro is renovating some of the them. I would check the Metro's Elevator and Escalator Service Status to make sure the station you will be using is not under renovation if you will need an elevator. If it is out of service and you are eligible then they will arrange for a shuttle bus to get you to the next station with a working elevator.

The elevator at Woodley Park is located on the right side after you exit the fare gates. It will be before the fare machines. If you are not looking for it, you can miss it. I keep thinking it's a door!! The elevator comes out a block NORTH of the station so you will have to go an extra block South to get to the hotel.

You will come out at the corner of Woodley Road and Connecticut Avenue.

Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Metro Station. If you are taking the elevators, stay to the right after exiting the fare gates. If are taking the escalators, welcome to the Metro systems's 3rd longest escalator!! (My daily stop has me going to Bethesda, the system's 2nd longest escalator ...and yes, I have had to walk up them more times than I wanted to!!!)

Once you get to the street level, you have 2 choices, go right or left. If you go right, you are on 24th Street. Take a left and then you will cross the street (Calvert Street) at the street light and the hotel is in front of you. If you go left, you will be on Connecticut Avenue. Take a right and then at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Calvert Street you will take another right and the hotel will be down a block on the left.

Miscellaneous. When on the escalators, stay to the right as the walkers will be on the left. These are folks who are probably running late to work! Always add time to the expected commute especially on Saturday. The trains do not run as frequently on the weekends and the system opens at 7:00 am. Take a look at Metro's Trip Planner for planning your trip. It will show estimated times departure and arrival times. Also, the lighting in some of the stations is dimmed. So it's not you, it's them!

I hope I covered at least some of the basic questions you may have concerning traveling by Metro. If I didn't cover a question you may have, please let me know. I am not know the answer but may know where to find it!

Come on August!!!


  1. Senior SmartTrip Cards available. Info at https://www.wmata.com/fares/reduced.cfm

    1. Yes and remember they have to be purchased at the Metro sales office or Metro Center commuter store. They are not available in the fare machines.

  2. Great blog post! I have traveled numerous times to NIH from Reagan and know exactly what you mean about the red line medical center escalators - they are very long and steep when you have to walk up them!

  3. I am coming in DC by bus. I will probably take a taxi to the hotel since I will have my hands full with my cane and luggage.