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Metro for family for 5??

Fairfield...
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Metro for family for 5??

What's the most efficent - time & moneywise - way for us to get around DC?

Our family of 5 will be in DC April 10-12. Kids ages 11, 11 and 12. We're staying near Dupont Circle. Kids have never been to DC so we want to hit the monuments, cherry blossoms, WWII memorial, Smithsonian, Capitol, walk by White House, possibly see Georgetown and maybe the zoo - all time permitting. We plan to do a lot of walking.

Would we be better off talking the metro or a cab? Or something else? (We'll have car with us - but I understand that parking is tough.) We're used to NYC subway system - but pay schedule for DC metro is different.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!!

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1. Re: Metro for family for 5??

Most cabs in DC won't take 5, unless you flag down a minivan. Even then, each additional passenger is $1.50, so I'm not sure you'd come out ahead in most cases (unlike NYC).

I think you'll be good to on the Metro, just by loading up each family member with maybe $15 on a Metro card when you arrive--each family member will need his/her own Metro card. You're not here long enough to make a 7-day pass worth it. With lots of walking, I bet $15 will get you everywhere you need to go from Dupont Circle.

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2. Re: Metro for family for 5??

If you haven't already done so, check out the Trip Planner section on the Metro's website: www.wmata.com You can see what trains you need to take, how long it takes to get there and the fare per person.

Fairfield...
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3. Re: Metro for family for 5??

I have read through the Metro web site, longhorn74, and I printed out the visitor's pocket guide. But there is no substitute for first hand info from Trip Advisor folks! Thank you tbwhall! Any other tips would be greatly appreciated!

texas
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4. Re: Metro for family for 5??

We were in DC 4 years ago with our family of 5.Here is what we did. The one day card, we got one for each of us and each day we were there.It can only be used after 930(I think), but then its good for the rest of the day. We just headed out after breakfast to start exploring, and never had to worry about if we had the right amount on a card. Of course i as the mom held them all, but when we came to a spot, I handed everyone one, they went through, then gave them back. I felt it was just worth it, if we decided to go back to hotel for awhile, and then go back out, we were set.

Another fact, I only figured this out after the hotel clerk helped me with it. I could never figure out which way a train was going.Like did I get on franconia going or Franconia coming. He showed me the map and then I figured if I was leaving hotel I would be travleing toward whichever was the end of the line at the time. If I was coming back to hotel, I would be getting on the metro going to the other end. Hope this makes sense, but I was there 2 days before I got up the courage to feel stupid and ask, and then it was like a lightbulb going off in my head. It was just confusing as we don't do subway in Texas, other than the sandwiches!!!!

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texas
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5. Re: Metro for family for 5??

I just saw you know about NYC subway, so forget what I said about knowing which way to go. I am sure you will know that!!!!!

And one oyther thing. We took Metro everywhere except night we walked monuments at night. About 2 am we got a minivan cab and went back to hotel. Very reasonable, as they are not done by time. They are done by area. So when you get in cab and say where you are staying, they tell you exactly the cost.

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Washington DC...
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6. Re: Metro for family for 5??

The taxis now have meters. No more zone system. So that is a big change since you were here last.

texas
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7. Re: Metro for family for 5??

Oh Darrell, Thats too bad. I really thought that was a nice thing about DC. They did not try to overcharge, and I gave them bigger tip.Oh well, I now know. Thanks

Fairfield...
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8. Re: Metro for family for 5??

Is it worth it for us to get SmarTrip cards?

It sounds like the card itself costs $5 (hence $25 for our family of 5) and then you load it with additional money for fares.

How much does a One Day Pass cost?

Thanks!

Washington DC...
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9. Re: Metro for family for 5??

For your short stay, a SmarTrip card would not be very cost effective. It does cost $5 per person all by itself. And at $8.30, the one-day pass may not be a great idea either. It all depends on how much you plan to ride that day. Two round trips from Dupont Circle to Smithsonian will cost less just paying the fare. But add one more trip and you have come out ahead. If you value convenience more than anything, the SmarTrip is great and works on the trains and the buses. A farecard only works on the train. Here is the rundown of passes: www.wmata.com/fares/purchase/passes.cfm

Edited: 23 March 2010, 12:19
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Fairfield...
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10. Re: Metro for family for 5??

VERY helpful - thank you Darrell!