How to Ride Washington DC Metro
Articles, Blog

How to Ride Washington DC Metro

October 11, 2019


  • Reply This Little Critic May 23, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    It's so clean, not what I expected!

  • Reply BWI Aviation June 11, 2017 at 1:57 am

    So, I'm also from the D.C. area (Maryland really) and I'm just thinking how stupid these people are not knowing the stand on the right, walk on the left thing. It's common practice in many areas. I would also like to add that the app called Transit is really great, as it gives you all options for transit, including Uber, biking/ bike share, and walking. Also a tip for those who are coming from the airport, Metro only serves Regan National Airport(DCA) the smaller and US and Canada only airport , and not Dulles International (IAD), the larger international airport. A bus does serve between Dulles and Whilie-Reston East, the closest Metro station on the Silver Line. Great video, and good look with your tour business!

  • Reply Casie Hill June 27, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Just wanted to say thank you for this video! I'm new to the area and these are great tips!

  • Reply Nalisa Talks July 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    I'm literally moving to the area tomorrow so this was helpful.

  • Reply Daisy Reyes July 16, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Hi there! Thanks so much for the video. I'm using the Metro website's Trip Planner feature to plan ahead a bit but I always see a warning when looking at the itinerary (the little red circle with a red exclamation mark inside). The message says something about the yellow line that trains only operate for scheduled maintenance and they advise to take the blue line….<sigh!> It seems sooooo complicated… you know if there's some major work going on and things are all out of sorts?

  • Reply susanacit133 July 18, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you for your great tips!

  • Reply Jason M Jarrett July 22, 2017 at 2:36 am

    When I came to DC to visit friends in 2010 I was lost at first.. Now, I got this! Can be very confusing..

  • Reply TheDtg007 July 24, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    THANK YOU for these videos. The process of preparing to move and now settling in my new home here in DC was and still is a big change for me so it is so helpful to have these tips. The local culture in DC is quite different from my home town so this makes getting used to "how things work" here so much easier.

  • Reply smokey puppy July 28, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    im originally from northern Virginia and once was metro pro to traveling to dc's colleges to party. too bad now im in the army and will proably not go to dc for a very long time. until then i will be a metro boss. always walk to the end of the tunnel where the amount of people on each train car is smaller.

  • Reply evancortez2 August 4, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Can you use a single smart trip card for multiple people, or does everybody have to have one

  • Reply dianna August 7, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    When you tap your SmartTrip card to exit the station, are you paying to exit? Or are you just tapping to notify the system that you are exiting? Thanks!

  • Reply Shabbir Naqvi August 8, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    A northern Virginian who uses the metro about once a year this was extremely useful

  • Reply Kaylani Woods August 9, 2017 at 5:37 am

    This is very true I am a native and When people out there things in the middle of the escalator sadly I get pissed and curse someone out

  • Reply mavis August 14, 2017 at 2:13 am

    why am i watching this i live in dc lol

  • Reply DuckTalesWooHoo1987 September 7, 2017 at 4:36 am

    Me and my buddy are gonna come from Baltimore Comic Con for a day to go to DC on our way back to Reagan Airport to fly home. What would be the best way to get from the Baltimore airport to downtown DC and then back to Reagan airport in the evening?

  • Reply Risa Orellana September 13, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Please put your suitcase on the step behind you, not the one in front of you. It sounds ridiculous, but if your pant leg happens to get caught in the escalator, or a shoelace or something, anything, you don't want to go head first over your own bag and hit yourself on the head before you even realize what happened. If it's behind you, you can control it better. Other than that, everything is true, and always remember that you need to use the card to both exit and enter, unlike some Subway systems in other cities.

  • Reply Ryan Compton September 17, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    Thanks for the stand right tip! I didn't look like a tourist…as much.

  • Reply Jenny A September 23, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    This sounds like everything I did while in Japan except for the escalators. They stand on the left and walk up on the right. I had to tell a few tourists to move as they were clueless about where to stand. Now that I'm back in the states, people are horrified when they see me walk up/down the escalator. Just move your fat ass to the side and don't worry about what I'm doing.

    One question though, does the smartrip card work while in your wallet? I ask because I still have my Japanese wallet I used for all their versions of the card and I never had to take it out once.

  • Reply Taylor Roberts October 17, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Do I pay twice on the dc metro once to get on the train and once to exit the terminal?

  • Reply Kevin Howard November 1, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Rule #11 when they say food is prohibited on the Metro, they fricking mean it. there are NO trashcans on the platforms at all. if you are caught eating or drinking on the Metro by metro Police, you will be chucked from that line. Per the Metro Site: Don'tEat, drink, smoke or litter on Metro vehicles or in stations. Metro Transit Police issue citations or make arrests to enforce the law.

  • Reply Jim Willis November 1, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Thanks for video and captions for the Deaf 🙂

  • Reply Diana Lopez November 8, 2017 at 10:47 pm

    Hello I'm visiting D.C in feb 2018 but staying in Alexandria, Virginia do you recommend renting a vehicle or taking the metro as transportation.

  • Reply grandma2maj November 15, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    You talk very fast so it would be hard to CC but would be nice if you did!

  • Reply The Flight Crew December 20, 2017 at 9:01 am

    I've been to DC twice and I love the city, came across this channel and I love it!! Super helpful, informal, and entertaining. Good job!

  • Reply Main Course Encouragement December 28, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    You're the best!

  • Reply Green Momma 716 January 3, 2018 at 3:52 am

    Do children need their own pass as well?

  • Reply NorthWestMontgomeryEAS07 January 14, 2018 at 4:47 am

    Am I the only local that watches this

  • Reply Ecorigon IV January 23, 2018 at 12:55 am

    I'm from Australia and we recently went to DC. We had friends that lived right near Whiele-Reston East on the end of the silver line so we always got the train to Metro Center/Smithsonian and walked from there into DC. You guys have nice trains, especially the newer cars 🙂

  • Reply Jon W February 2, 2018 at 1:51 am

    You gotta tap out when exiting the metro; otherwise, your card wont work next time you're entering. Even though you can just walk behind someone else and not bother, it is not worth it.

  • Reply 1121mdcity jiggy February 10, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    as a new metro rider…how do i choose the option to pay for all-day pass? i just load money and go cause im not exactly sure and don't want to mess up?

  • Reply Girma Yilma February 13, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    I'm blessings living in Columbus Ohio.

  • Reply MarcellusTheGreen March 2, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    When I worked in D.C. in the early and mid 1970s, there was no metro, just those damned MetroBusses.   Some thought the streets were made of wood, because they were building the subway at the time.  I don't know when they finally finished it.  But about 30 years later I came back for a visit and the train is a lot quicker getting from Virginia to D.C. than those old metrobusses.

  • Reply Muthu Siva March 3, 2018 at 4:37 am

    Very useful

  • Reply Koby Schechter March 11, 2018 at 4:34 am

    I was just in D.C. a few weeks ago and my mom fell victim to the escalator rule. We live in NY.

  • Reply It's Viola March 15, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    I want to go back for a visit, i still have money on that panda card, can i transfer it to the smarttrip card?

  • Reply Drake Burd March 19, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    1:14 what does that mean "purchase pass" what kinda pass?

  • Reply biapiaxyzia March 20, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    thank you thank you thank you!

  • Reply Drake Burd March 21, 2018 at 12:39 am

    How would I go to a capitals game? what station would I have to get off at if I wanted to go to one using this system? say I was coming from DCA. Once I arrived at DCA, how would I get to the DCA metro station from baggage claim?

  • Reply Timothy Raths March 23, 2018 at 4:45 am

    Coming to DC on April 26th, can't wait!

  • Reply Cassie Guadagno March 24, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Thanks for this video! I visited D.C. last weekend, and it helped to be familiar with the basics of the metro!

  • Reply Nathan's Boat Reviews and More!🛳 April 1, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    I love 7000 Better I don't like the old ones it looks like it's 20 years old

  • Reply Jennifer Lang April 13, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Can I purchase 1 card for a family of 4?

  • Reply Wolters World April 16, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Amen to not standing on the left!!! That will be my 1st DON'T on our DC video 🙂

  • Reply Nina E April 18, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    This is a great video

  • Reply A very intelligent hamster. April 20, 2018 at 5:08 am

    Meh, it’s the same as my hometown of Boston. Same Metro procedure. Over here the metro card is called the Charlie Card.

  • Reply KC Wildcat May 18, 2018 at 3:52 am

    Some of these tips are sad they need said but it’s true. SO many people are just CLUELESS of their surroundings, their relation to others, and don’t think about anyone other than themselves.

  • Reply Asa R May 21, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Hey Rob, your videos are great. They have really helped my wife and I get around the city. We are moving up to the area and we'd really appreciate one or two videos that focused on people coming to area to potentially live there. I know your main target audience is tourists, but I'm sure there are others in a similar situation to us.
    Here are some questions that I have as a person who has visited trying to move there:
    1. What are the pros and cons of different ways to get to work (specifically biking)? Can you take a bike on a metro train?
    2. How does the metro bus fare work?
    3. Do regular commuters fill up their metro card like a regular tourist would?

  • Reply V T May 26, 2018 at 11:53 pm

    The dc metro is terrible. There is almost always delays/repairs, long wait for the next train, depressing looking, expensive rush our rate. The metro system in Seoul is night and day difference…light years ahead of DC…

  • Reply BegbieUK June 1, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    "How to Ride Washington DC Metro" Step 1: Avoid the metro; take a cab.

  • Reply Kulturstadtbanause Steffen Andritzke June 3, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Thank you !

  • Reply Evian Mason June 10, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    Cool love 2 travel. Cant wait 2 get there…

  • Reply gazetteloveification June 17, 2018 at 2:33 pm


  • Reply Jack White June 18, 2018 at 8:25 pm

    I just got back from DC. Somehow I knew to stand on the right in case people wanted to walk up the left, without even watching your video first. Just common sense.

    The map not being to scale really annoyed me and made it difficult. I ended up taking a bus to make up the extra distance for not getting off at the closest station. I had an all day pass that included the bus. BTW, I think that pass (plus the $2 cost of the card) was $15.xx.

    The drivers really fluctuate the throttle a LOT, and not just slowing down for curves. Sometimes slowing down then immediately speeding up. You know, like some people do while driving cars. Kind of strange.

    The drivers called out the stations but for most of the drivers, we couldn't understand what they were saying. They don't even attempt to use halfway correct pronunciation. The buses where I live use a loud prerecorded voice over the P.A. (like for a theme park ride). Not sure why DC subways can't do the same.

    I also rode the subway in Manhattan a few days before DC, and theirs have basic light up displays in the cars that show which stop you're at and the other stops. Very handy. Not sure why all don't have this.

    The permanent small signs posted on the polls in the transfer stations in DC were very confusing and the wording on some didn't even make sense. Also we noticed the arrows were wrong on one. So finding our way around to the stations, to transfer or simply exit, was always a little confusing.

    This would be a useful tip too:
    I guessed correctly at what "cars" meant, but wasn't 100% positive, and someone I asked that lived there didn't even know for sure.

    Also, even with the Metro, the DC tourist attractions were so much more spread out than I thought they were, that we could only manage a few of them before running out of time, and being completely exhausted.

    BTW, the Smithsonian museums were so crowded, they were really hard to enjoy. I went on Friday. Much of it was because of school groups. Plus just the typical generally rude foreigners that bump into you, or don't think about moving out of the way of a display even when they're not looking at it, or let their kids run wild.

  • Reply Creative Frugal Fun July 8, 2018 at 11:30 pm

    We were there 2 weeks ago. We stayed in Georgetown near the Foggy Bottom metro and used it every day to get into the generla area that we wanted for sightseeing. I wish we would have bought a weekly pass ($17?) because we spent that much for the 5 days that we were there just using it once in AM and once to get home.

  • Reply Jacob Edward Lynch July 14, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    The escalator rule also applies in Manhattan and San Francisco!

  • Reply Trip Hacks DC July 23, 2018 at 2:26 am

    We've added "Walk Left, Stand Right" shirts to the Trip Hacks DC merch store. Show everyone that you know EXACTLY what you're doing when you visit.

  • Reply bryce July 27, 2018 at 1:02 am

    well, I went to DC over the fourth of july and I messed up on most of these. never been on any metro train system before

  • Reply PianoPerson July 30, 2018 at 10:39 am

    I'm from a small city, we don't have a metro and there's rarely any places here that use escalators besides the mall, so I never knew the rule about never standing on the left. Thank you for sharing that particular etiquette hack with us! 🙂

    Edit: I was seeing that some of the other comments say it is pure common sense to stand on the right, but to most people who've never traveled by metro before it's an entirely foreign system which may be awfully confusing at first..! So while I can see why it'd be annoying for the locals, I don't quite blame tourists either

  • Reply Bruce Wayne August 15, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    Life Saver!!!!!!

  • Reply Alex Truong August 20, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    What type of pass do you recommend college students get when attending school in D.C.?

  • Reply jaidaa August 24, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    if you are a student you can you youre student id ❤️

  • Reply CzarJuliusIII August 27, 2018 at 4:50 am

    Whether you're from DC or not, whether you're from a city with decent public transit or not, standing on the right of the escalator to allow people to pass on the left is SIMPLE.COMMON.SENSE.

  • Reply Henry Chamberlain September 4, 2018 at 9:22 pm

    I will be staying in DC soon! I'll be in DC from Sep 12-19. I'll be around for the Small Press Expo in Bethesda over the weekend. Would you recommend renting a car–or no? Thank you.

  • Reply M Lau September 14, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Number 7. “Please let passengers exit first.” Hong Kong MTR announcements

  • Reply Debra B September 15, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Thanks so much. This will be my first time to ride the metro

  • Reply Julie K September 28, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Thank you!

  • Reply Fatality0n3 October 9, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    Rob I appreciate the help! I am moving to DC for work in two months and don't want to look like a total novice when I get here lol!

  • Reply Rick Fidelis Reed October 22, 2018 at 1:52 am

    First time in DC was for three days several years ago. I’m returning in November.
    ¿How long should I plan on to see more?

  • Reply kittycat03 November 4, 2018 at 6:36 am

    I went there in July and rode the metro pretty much everyday and where was this video when needed it?

  • Reply mindofBen November 27, 2018 at 12:48 am

    Thank you for these helpful tips and app suggestions! Just made me a lot less stressed out about riding the metro for the first time 🙂

  • Reply Thobeka Goba November 29, 2018 at 6:07 am

    This is amazing!!! I’m glad I found this before I went!!!

  • Reply Marline Harrold December 31, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Thanks a lot. 🙂

  • Reply Elizabeth Farrell January 15, 2019 at 9:48 am

    Excellent job. 🙂

  • Reply Olivia Gross February 15, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Here's another DON'T: Do NOT leave your purse, phone, wallet, etc. sitting unattended! Someone will take it/or take money from you. (While I have never lost my purse or wallet, I ended up having $5 stolen from me once during my trip to DC in 2013.

  • Reply VIpoison911 March 5, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    I needed this for the first couple of minutes about purchasing the card. I visited 2yrs ago and the vending machine was confusing. No one at the Farragut station booth to assist me, but I eventually understood the signage and figured it out on my own. 😥whew! Thanks Rob

  • Reply aliasannie1 March 6, 2019 at 12:26 am

    Don't consume food or drink on the Metro, including in stations.

  • Reply Olivia Gross March 14, 2019 at 3:00 am

    Hey, Rob! I also know everything about the DC Metro, so if you need me to send some of my tips for riding the metro, please give me a shout-out via Youtube or email. Thanks

  • Reply Patricia Catalano March 16, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    Me too is also live in dc

  • Reply Chantelle Tyche March 26, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    Prepping for my trip and your videos are my holy grail

  • Reply LynxProd April 1, 2019 at 7:53 pm

    Is the wmata website trip planner as good as the app you described for getting around town?

  • Reply Boat Lover April 6, 2019 at 2:58 am

    Great video. I like tip 8 I think it was about tapping before the gate closes. I would add, look at the screen and be sure it has recognized your fare card. You'll see the remaining value change to what you will likely have an idea is left on your card.

  • Reply Matt Renfro April 13, 2019 at 3:33 am

    If you want to walk up an escalator, take the stairs instead

  • Reply Danyelle Mendonça April 28, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    I wish I could have watched this video o before coming 😂

  • Reply acajudi100 April 29, 2019 at 5:16 am

    You will not be allowed to use the toilet.

  • Reply J Shysterr May 1, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    when I got off the plane at Reagan airport I couldnt find the subway. We ended up walking everywhere. Then the day we were to leave we found the segways.

  • Reply Plumber's Helper Charter Service May 2, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Very helpful, thanks so much!

  • Reply Alisa Crowder May 4, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    IS the red line in d.c the inmporut

  • Reply Carl Johnson May 18, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    I visited DC couple times and I didn't know about these don'ts. I hope I wasn't bothering or offended the locals 😁😂

  • Reply RC49 July 16, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    This video gives me the impression that people in DC are entitled, inpatient, and unfriendly.

  • Reply Ethan Calk July 30, 2019 at 3:28 am

    Just got back from a conference in DC and I watched many of your videos before I went. I must say that your Metro videos were tremendously helpful, from getting and adding to my Smarttrip card, to where to walk on the escalators to how to read the map, they were all invaluable! Apart from having to figure out which side of the track to go to for my first trip, your videos helped me (hopefully) to look like a native. A huge thank you!

  • Reply John Landeck August 7, 2019 at 4:05 pm

    I guess this could go on any of the multiple videos of yours I watched, Rob. I just got home yesterday from my first ever trip to DC and I was able to really make the most out of my time there due to learning so much from your videos. Things like the most effective way to use the metro, having the Cityplanner app, going to some of the restaurants you suggested and getting the credits for downloading some of the apps (District Taco was great!), and just the wisdom to give yourself some room for delays, walking time etc. Thank you so much! My trip was significantly better than it would have been without your help! I would not hesitate to recommend you and your videos to anyone going to DC!

  • Reply M B August 10, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    Don't ride the DC metro on weekends. That's when they repair the track. Trains are almost inoperable then.

  • Reply Chris Capps August 26, 2019 at 5:09 am

    Please do a video on finding the metro escalators via metro and metro hero since when we went the distances didn't add up and had to search

  • Reply eduardo flores August 31, 2019 at 1:03 pm

    thank you this are great tips

  • Reply robnjenn0528 September 18, 2019 at 1:21 am

    Your videos helped our family immensely!! We are a family of 7 (5 kids age 11 and under), so we wanted to make sure to have all our ducks in a row before we went into DC today. Your information made it a piece of cake! We had a great time and everything went so smoothly thanks to your suggestions (especially the apps!) Great videos!

  • Reply Luther McGee September 21, 2019 at 3:58 am

    Thank you, sir. I used to live in Washington. Even though I'm back in Ohio, I still occasionally visit D.C..

  • Reply S SN QN October 2, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    I went to UMCP back in 1998 and I remember those paper cards that printed my balance on it! Next time I come to DC, I'll be sure to get a smartcard.

  • Reply Aaden Daniels October 11, 2019 at 3:39 am

    pretty basic common sense tips.

  • Leave a Reply