In Search of Better Transportation

Brooke Family

From Carol: We are still in search of the best way to get to the new stadium. On Saturday night, we decided to try parking at RFK and taking the free shuttle. As we approached RFK, we were surprised to find a long line of cars waiting to park. Guess we should have checked the soccer schedule; there was a game that night. But the tailgating soccer fans really didn't slow us down.

We were directed to a parking lot behind the stadium where a line of buses waited. We boarded almost immediately and headed for the new stadium. After a 20-minute drive, the bus parked four blocks away, and a friendly official boarded the bus and gave us directions to the stadium. We were assured that buses would be waiting to return us safely to our car when we were ready to leave. Our stroll to the stadium was easy and our return was flawless. (For those who don't want to or cannot walk from the bus stop to the stadium, the free e-cruzers golf cart service is available.)

My only complaint is that this approach takes more time. Last year, heading to RFK required one step: hopping on a Metro train. Door-to-door from my husband's office near Farragut West was half an hour or less. This year, we have yet to find an approach that does not take several extra steps and more time. I would prefer to take Metro. It is the cheapest, most eco-friendly way to go. My concern is whether Metro has allocated enough cars to address the increase in ridership surrounding game time, especially on the Green line.

Next time, we're going to try the suggestions offered to me by a commenter called "little tip": "Try taking a Green or Yellow train up to Archives or Gallery Place and then walking across the platform to board a stadium-bound Green line train from there. I used to find that it was much easier to get on/off that way."

I'll let you know how it goes.

By Brooke Family  |  April 29, 2008; 11:00 AM ET  | Category:  Brooke Family , Driving
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Huh, you want to take a green line train from where to Archives/Gallery Place. I'm lost here. Wouldn't you already be on the Green line to get to the stadium or is there a second mysterious Green line on Metro the rest of us aren't privvy to?

Posted by: Verizon Center Office Worker | April 29, 2008 11:59 AM

It is pointless to spend time trying to find "an approach that does not take several extra steps and more time": you're comparing apples to oranges.

I've been to all but one of the home games so far this season, and I've taken Metro (from Vienna or East Falls Church) every single time. It's really not that bad. Yes, having to transfer at L'Enfant Plaza is kind of a pain. Yes, the trains are often crowded -- especially after a game -- and we stand most of the time. Yes, sometimes there's a delay getting into the Navy Yard station after a game because the platform gets full and the Metro officials have to hold the crowd until it clears. All of these are annoyances, but I still get to and from the games in a relatively timely fashion.

You'll never find your dream approach, because Nationals Park is in a different location and on a different Metro line than RFK. Just suck it up and accept that it's going to take a little longer to get to the games now.

Posted by: Section 312 | April 29, 2008 1:02 PM

After you...complain...about the length added by the Nats Express Shuttle, the complaints about Metro here seem almost identical to last week's discussion started by your post "Metro Headaches."

First, I would encourage you to heed another comment by OutsideTheLaw, who said:
"let me guess -- you're coming from Virginia on the Orange line or the Blue Line. So don't transfer: get off at Capitol South. It's a 14-minute walk downhill to Nats Stad from there. Save the Navy Yard Station experience for the way home -- you'll probably leave a litle early with two little tots anyway, and L'Enfant seems to work better on the way home than the way to the game."

Second, maybe you could fill us in on your ideal game-transporting situation?? Given your wee ones, please describe your "dream commute" to and from Nationals Park, which seems to be inconveniently located on the Green Line (it doesn't go from your husband's work; it doesn't take you directly to NoVa).

I'm not trying to be a smartass, I just really want to know how you envision this trip going since nothing has really impressed you so far, and you seem to find a complaint in everything the city/stadium are trying to do to make it a pleasant experience.

Posted by: Cole | April 29, 2008 1:11 PM

I think Cole has an excellent question that I'd really like to read an answer to before you write another post about your attempts to get to the game: What is your ideal game-commuting situation?

Posted by: voteprime | April 30, 2008 12:08 AM

I wouldn't say they were complaining as much as noting the extra step of transit. It's no longer a one step process to go to a baseball game, and that change is going to take time to settle in.

As such, the Nationals ought to make a better effort to inform fans that there will be a United game and to expect heavier than normal traffic because of it.

Posted by: Kim | April 30, 2008 3:43 PM

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