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How do metro fares work?

Chanhassen...
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How do metro fares work?

I've used the metro on a trip 7 or 8 years ago and don't exactly recall how it works. I have the maps and schedules and can see the fares but I'd be interested in a description of how the entire process works.

Do you swipe a card going into a station and then swipe the same card coming out for it to determine exact fare? Do you just select an exit station when you're going in and it's checked when you're coming out?

I see I can buy farecards online and that might be convenient so I don't have to handle that on my first trip with the whole family (2 adults, 2 kids).

I'd also be interested in whether the metro would be recommended over a cab trip from Reagan Natl to the Mandarin Oriental when we arrive with luggage, etc.

TIA

Arlington, Virginia
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for Washington DC
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1. Re: How do metro fares work?

Hi:

Yes, you select an exit station when you're going in and it's checked when you're coming out. Yes, you will need to swipe your card as you enter the station and as you exit so the amount is subracted from your card. If you don't have enough money on your card, you'll need to add more. If you still have money left, you can add more to that same card by re-entering into the machine later.

Personally, with a family of four and luggage, I'd spring for the cab from National. It's a quick ride and shouldn't cost you more than about $20 plus tip (assuming they charge extra for luggage and extra passengers).

Maryland
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2. Re: How do metro fares work?

I would do the cab from the Mandarin. It's just a quick trip across the bridge.

Also, you will only "swipe" a card if you purchase the Smart Trip Card which is not necessary unless you are parking in one of the metro parking facilities ($5.00 charge just to purchase the card). You will be purchasing a fare card at the kiosk located at the entrance of the station.

As the previous post mentioned you put the card into the machine as others will be doing. As far as money, depending on how much you will be using metro I would put at least $5.00-$10.00 on each card (each rider will need one except if your kids are under I believe 5 years of age it's free.) You can reuse the same card each time you enter the metro; it has to be at least $1.35 for the minimum fare on Metro.

Hope this helps.

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: How do metro fares work?

Good point, MrsMaryland. You don't swipe the fare card - you put in the machine one the front side and it pops out. Be sure to take your card!

Baltimore, Maryland
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4. Re: How do metro fares work?

Just a friendly reminder:

Please stand to the right!!!

The locals will beat you down with dirty looks if you stand to the left on the escalators. The unwritten rule is, the right side is for tourists who have plenty of time to kill and the left side is for commuters who are trying to get to work.

Enjoy your trip. :)

Morristown, New...
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5. Re: How do metro fares work?

Here's the official word on how to ride the metro: wmata.com/riding/riding_metro.cfm…

From Reagan National to the Mandarin definitely cab it. Those cabs have meters and you will be at your hotel in less than 10 minutes for roughly what it would take to get 4 people there via metro.

Coming back to Reagan from the Mandarin either agree on a fare before getting in the car (remember what you paid to get there) OR bring a print out that you can get by going to this link and following the directions. Just put in the address of the Mandarin and then Reagan and it'll tell you exactly what a cab should cost (remember to include all of the passengers and extra luggage).

citizenatlas.dc.gov/atlasapps/taxifare.aspx

I once made the mistake of not bringing the print out and the guy was trying to tell me that it's a flat rate of $20 from downtown to the airport. It should have cost me something like $9.

Earth
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6. Re: How do metro fares work?

I was planning on taking the metro from Reagan to the metro Center stop downtown, then walking 3 blocks with my luggage to my hotel. Is this a bad idea? Should I just take a cab instead?

I'm also planning on buying the metrorail 7-day fast pass the day I arrive. Should I order ahead online instead? Can you buy those at any station?

Morristown, New...
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7. Re: How do metro fares work?

doubletree your plan is good regarding taking the metro. And yes, you can buy those passes at the station. If you find the machines confusing, just ask the station manager for help.

Morristown, New...
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8. Re: How do metro fares work?

oops, meant doublefront

9. Re: How do metro fares work?

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