Getaway: more Metrobuses to the airports
Dear Dr. Gridlock:
Will Metrobus add additional buses to the 5A and B30 routes this Wednesday and Sunday? The last time I traveled on the B30 during Thanksgiving, people were standing. That seems unsafe to me given that the bus travels on the BW Parkway, not to mention all the starting and stooping because of traffic is not so great on the arms.
The two airport buses are very popular during the holidays [see story by Sholnn Freeman], and Metro is indeed adding capacity from Wednesday through Sunday.
On Wednesday and Sunday, Metro will put on two additional articulated buses to help meet the high demand. On Thanksgiving Day, the B30 will operate on a Sunday schedule. [See schedule here.]
-- Take the Orange Line to West Falls Church Station and then taking the Washington Flyer bus to the airport. The Flyer leaves every half hour from Bus Bay E. (Mark Regan of Fairbanks, Alaska, wrote in to ask if there was still a Metrobus out of West Falls Church for the airport. No, there isn't.)
-- Take the 5A Metrobus from L'Enfant Plaza or Rosslyn stations. As with the B30, the fare is $3.10 in cash, or $3 using a SmarTrip card.
From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, 5A buses will leave Dulles Airport every 20 minutes. One bus will go directly to the Rosslyn Station. The second bus will continue on to L'Enfant Plaza. On Thursday, the 5A will operate on a Sunday schedule. [See schedule here.] From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the 5As will leave Rosslyn every 30 minutes, with one bus going directly to Dulles. The other bus stopping at Rosslyn will start at L'Enfant Plaza. Metro says it will have an additional bus on standby if the demand requires it on the weekend.
Many people love the 5A, but I do get complaints that the bus interior is not designed for airport travelers. There's no room for luggage. Take that into consideration in planning your trip.
But a better option would be to take Blue or Yellow lines, since this is the one airport out of our three that is served by a Metro line. Just be considerate of your fellow train riders when you're swinging around those big bags and backpacks.
Metro says that on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving last year, 5,851 people entered the Metrorail station at National Airport and 12,587 exited. On the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2008, 8,890 entered the station and 3,036 exited.
November 24, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories: Getaway , Metro , holiday travel | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrobus, Thanksgiving, travel tips
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