5 Things You Need to Know About Transportation in Washington DC

Cedric Stewart
Published on August 19, 2016

5 Things You Need to Know About Transportation in Washington DC

Moving to Washington DC, Our Guide on Everything You NEED to Know.

In this blog series, we will hit on all the important things you need to know before moving to Washington DC. Today we are going to highlight how do get around the District. This may seem basic but if you want to be on time then you need to get a lay of the land and fast! There are many options for transportation in the District and all have their pros and cons.

Metro Train

Metro train pulling out of a station What you need to know before moving to Washington DC

1. Metro

To be what has frequently been deemed one of the best transit systems in the country, metro sure does suck right about now.
Proudly brought to us by Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority or WMATA, The system has started to show its age in recent years. Coupled with a number of recent high-level administration changes, they have been some bumps in the road. Transit customers have become familiar with the phrase “expect delays”. If you’re planning on living and working here, you should too.
 
Bike share just outside the Metro station

Bike share just outside the Metro station. What you need to know before moving to Washington DC

2. Bikes vs. Cars

Who doesn’t love a four-wheeled gas-guzzling monster, otherwise know as a car? People who ride bikes to get around DC, that’s who. If you spend more than 10 minutes at any intersection on K St downtown between 10am – 5pm on a weekday you’ll more than likely, bare witness to it yourself. All manner of hand gestures and phrases emanating from vigilant two-wheeled warriors. Before you wave your finger in disapproval, know that those motorists are good at reciprocating the hate. Ever since bike riders took to traveling thru streets exclusively and left sidewalks to “those pedestrians”, DRIVERS HAVE BEEN PISSED. That was before DC became one of the top 3 cities for bike riders. With the addition of 9 more miles of bike lanes in 2015, one can only imagine the vitriol spewed in the cabin of the unlucky driver whom just narrowly avoided an Eco-friendly commuter in the turning lane. Yikes. Bottom line, cars, and bikes are here to stay, so they better start playing nice.

Using the Uber App in Washington DC. What you need to know before moving to Washington DC

Using the Uber App in Washington DC. What you need to know before moving to Washington DC

 

3. “Ubertation”

Unlike Austin Texas, DC is still a staunch supporter of “Ubertation” (The phenomenon where you sell your car, download an app, and vow to commute exclusively by stranger car). If you’re into that kind of thing, it really doesn’t matter where you live in DC because Uber drivers are all over DC, MD, & VA.

4. Parking

Those that already live you can debate which of the two is a more dreaded topic of discussion, parking or speed enforcement camera, aka “Traps that pad the government’s coffers”.
We’ll get back to those in a minute.
Where were we?
Oh yes, Parking. On the majority of DC’s post-gentrification residential streets there is a new standard: One side of the street is reserved for residents while the other side will allow guest to park for a maximum of two hours. That’s the basic rule within a residential “zone”, of which there are several. Note- If you try to pull the old move around the corner when your time is up trick, chances are you’ll end up with a ticket. DC is top notch at parking enforcement. If you can’t get off street parking after you’ve moved to DC, drop everything and register your vehicle. If you don’t, they’ll give you tickets. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Dc red light Camera What you need to know before moving to Washington DC

Dc red light Camera What you need to know before moving to Washington DC

 

 

5. Speeding/Red Light Cameras

While we could easily say enough about these to devices to span two blog posts, instead we’ll offer you this:

DC Speed Camera Revenue Totals by Year

    2015 $84 million

    2014 $43 million

    2013 $55 million

    2012 $125 million

(Source: DC Dept. of Motor Vehicles)

Speed cameras are EVERYWHERE in DC. When you get here, find out what the speed limit is and follow it.

Honorable mentions:

Taxicabs and Streetcar(s) Both Dinosaurs in your own right, we respect your efforts to remain apart of the DC’s transportation zeitgeist.

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5 Things You Need to Know About Transportation in Washington DC
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