Heading to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center this weekend for the Transportation Research Board’s Annual Meeting? Metro’s Yellow Line is closed through May 2023, ride-sharing options can be tricky, and traffic will be heavy, but we have a solution: use bikeshare!
Principal Planner Conor Semler does this often when he travels from Boston to Washington, D.C. (“I prefer not to be in a car,” he says.)
The Capital Bikeshare station at DCA can be a little tricky to find, so this is Conor’s route for finding the station.
- Go to the “Parking 2” garage using the pedestrian bridge from Terminal 2 or using the walkway past Abingdon Plantation from the “Parking 1” garage (the garage with the rental cars).
- Take the elevator or stairs down to Level 1.
- Walk to the back of the garage and find the stairs to the Capital Bikeshare station (located near Zone B1-10 of the parking garage).
- The bikeshare station is behind the concrete wall near the roadway.
- After grabbing a bike, you can follow the path towards to Crystal City and the Mt. Vernon Trail!
- If the bikeshare station is out of bikes (😞), you may be able to get a bike from the nearby station in Crystal City/National Landing (check the Capital Bikeshare map in advance!). Walk on the same path towards Crystal City/National Landing you would have biked, and pick up a bike at either the Crystal City Metro/18th St & S Bell St station or the Crystal Dr & 20th St S station, both near the Crystal City Water Park where the trail leads you into Crystal City.
- Once you’re on the bike, it’s about five miles along the Potomac River, over the 14th Street Bridge, and along the (new!) extension of the 15th Street Cycle Track across the National Mall. (View the full route here.)
- Return your bike to one of the many bikeshare stations in downtown Washington, D.C.
Here is a map of the route. The yellow line is the walking route to the Capital Bikeshare station at DCA, and the blue line is the bike route into DC:
A “classic” (non-e-bike) bike costs $1.00 to unlock and $0.05 per minute. On a classic bike. depending on how many pictures you take on the way, the ride could be about 30 minutes, so a total cost of about $3.00. An e-bike costs $0.15 per minute, which will probably save you ten minutes, and cost a little under $5.00.
You can also pick up a 24-hour pass for $8.00, which reduces the cost of a classic bike to $0.05 per minute or $0.10 per minute for an e-bike.
While the Yellow Line is closed through May, you can still take Metro if you’re as excited as we are to ride the “Great Society Subway!” Instead of the Yellow Line, take the Blue Line from DCA towards New Carrolton. Ride for about 20 minutes (nine stops) to Metro Center, where you will need to walk about a half-mile to the Convention Center. This trip will take you about 35 minutes, depending on headways and walking speeds. Alternatively, if you want to avoid the walk, you can continue on the Blue Line another three stops to L’Enfant Plaza, where you will need to transfer to a Green Line train towards Branch Avenue. Once you’re on the Green Line, take the train three stops to the Mt Vernon Sq 7th St-Convention Center stop and you’ll be right outside the Convention Center.
If you’re looking to get to the Convention Center as quickly as possible, it is easy to take a taxi from the airport. All taxis to the District take credit cards, and the lines at the DCA Taxi Stands are generally very short. Taxis (before tip) typically cost about $20.00 and take about 15 minutes (depending on traffic) from DCA to the Convention Center.
We’re excited to use these modes of transportation this weekend and hope they can save you some time and expense, too.
We’ll see you at TRB (if we don’t see you on Capital Bikeshare first)!