I just returned from my cousin's wedding in Louisville. It was a great time with good food, mint juleps and Southern accents, but I almost missed the whole event. Last Friday, I arranged to have a large, blue shared-ride van (which shall remain nameless) pick me up from work hours before my scheduled departure. I won't bore you with details, but after a crazed roller coaster ride around (and around) the city that seemed better suited for a bat-out-of-hell than an unsuspecting posse of airport travelers, I made my flight with mere seconds to spare.
After the unnecessary stress of my Friday trip to Dulles (which undoubtedly stripped about 10 years off my life), I've compiled a list of the numerous other options we Washingtonians, Northern Virginians and Marylanders have for getting to local airports. Mix, match and figure out a way to get there that will leave you flying high instead of dashing madly for your departure gate.
By car: For those with a car, you can make the drive out to Dulles along the generally traffic-free access road. There is an abundance of daily, short-term and long-term parking in the vicinity ranging from $9 to $36 per day.
By Metro: The Washington Flyer coach service departs from the West Falls Church Metro station by the Fairfax Connector/Reston buses at the "Dulles Airport Shuttle" sign. The trip takes about 20 minutes and costs $8 one way or $14 roundtrip. The coach departs on the quarter every half-hour from 5:45 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. on weekdays and 7:45 a.m. to 10:15 p.m. on weekends.
By bus: Metro's 5A bus takes an express route along the access road to Dulles. The bus picks up passengers at L'Enfant Plaza, Rosslyn, Tysons-Westpark transit station and the Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride Lot. The bus leaves L'Enfant Plaza at 5:33 a.m. and continues approximately every hour until 10:37 p.m. every day.
By taxi: Any taxi service can take you to Dulles, but Washington Flyer maintains an exclusive contract as the only cab transporting passengers from the airport. The ride from the District costs approximately $50. Reservations can be made at 703-661-6655.
By car: It isn't too difficult to reach BWI from D.C.; it's essentially a straight shot along I-95. Parking ranges from $8 to $20 per day, but the airport is currently offering a coupon for $2 off parking in the daily garage.
By train: Amtrak and the MARC train both service BWI via the Baltimore-BWI station. A ride from Union Station costs $14 on Amtrak. Monday through Friday, the MARC train (Penn Station line) runs from Union Station for $6. The trains depart between 5:54 a.m. and 10:40 p.m.; the trip takes approximately 26 minutes.
By bus: Metro offers the BWI Express Metro B30 bus service from the Greenbelt Metro station. It runs every 40 minutes, seven days a week, to the Greenbelt station. Buses run 25 times each weekday and 21 times on Saturdays and Sunday, every 40 minutes.
Reagan National Airport
By car: The airport, just off the George Washington Memorial Parkway, is easily accessible by car or public transportation. Parking ranges from $9 to $28 per day.
By Metro: Both the blue and yellow lines stop at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
By taxi: The short ride to the airport costs approximately $12 from the District.
By bus: Surprisingly, Metro offers only limited bus service to the airport from 6:13 to 7:43 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays via lines 13B, 13F and 13G.
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