Making the Grade on Transit

Scott Watson

Because transportation and concessions will always be recurring interests for most fans (booze and ball-snagging seem to have a constituency as well, but I digress . . .), I thought I'd add to the Brooke Family's latest posts by giving a quick interim grade and short review of each means of getting to Nats Park that I've tried so far.

At least it keeps me from more moaning about woeful concession service (until the next game):

Metro to Navy Yard B+

The station doesn't seem nearly as big as Stadium/Armory, but they move a lot of people relatively easily. Green line obviously lacks the trains that the Orange and Blue lines sent by RFK, but people seem to get in and out of the station better. A SmartPass can get you parked at the Anacostia Metro lot (add a little over $4), and you come in from the southeast side with far-smaller crowds. Although the sample is very low (one game), I'm pretty sure that rainy nights with everyone leaving at once are a Metro nightmare.

Metro to Capitol South A-

The walk is downhill and easy, just longer than from Navy Yard. But Blue and Orange line travelers can avoid any transfer hassles. New Jersey Avenue is well-enough lit at night, and others are on the same path. There is no line after a game.

The N22 Bus B+

When a rainy night saw the Navy Yard Station mobbed, my friend and I jumped on this bus, which goes from Nats Park to Union Station - by way of 8th Street! Leaving me at the convenient Eastern Market Metro, and my friend back home to Capitol Hill.

Cash Parking A-

Orange Lot T cost me $20, but 30 minutes before a Cubs game on a stormy night, there were still spots. The idea of riding the Nats Express back to RFK with rain-soaked Cubs fans was just too depressing, so this was near-perfect (but pricey).

Parking and Walking from Capitol Hill F

New signs make it clear that Zone 6 holders are the only lucky souls who can risk this. My Virginia tags disqualify me from any spot closer than the RFK lot.

Nats Express from RFK A-

I've ridden this a number of times, including from Lot 7 when DC United played. It's quick to board at RFK, quick to a Disembarkation Point at 3d and M, and a short walk to Nats Park. The free golf carts in lieu of that short walk -- for patrons who can't or don't want to walk -- is a godsend, especially if your dad or granddad comes to town and wants to avoid Metro crowds, but isn't up to a hike. Expect obnoxious Mets, Cubs, and Phillies fans. Wait; that's redundant.

By Scott Watson  |  April 30, 2008; 5:35 PM ET  | Category:  Scott Watson
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I too, find the rfk express to be a A -plus transportation option. Only one thing bothers me.... I am hearing rumors or maybe its just speculation - that this will not be offered next year....I sure hope they continue it.
Has anyone heard anything?

Posted by: express rider | May 1, 2008 8:05 AM

What is the Nats Express like LEAVING a game? How long to wait for a bus? Big crowds to catch a bus?

Posted by: Jason | May 1, 2008 9:19 AM

There has never been more than a three-minute wait [for me] leaving a game on Nats Express. They run multiple busses, there is an orderly line to climb in, and as one bus is leaving, they're boarding the next.

None of my games, though, has presented one of those games where *everybody* waits 'til the same moment to leave. Even then, though, the three-block walk to the buses will tend to streamline and seems to make boarding easy.

Posted by: 241 Scott | May 1, 2008 9:57 AM

Must agree with the big fat F given to Capitol Hill parking...the NIMBYs have certainly won out here...cripes, you now have one side of the street ALL TO YOURSELF. At least what DC could have done was kept one side of the street free on weekends.

Posted by: Annandale Annie | May 1, 2008 10:28 AM

The NIMBY's may be a little bad, but look a bit when you're over there. There are spots to be had if you're willing to walk. I know of a couple, which I don't want to divulge because I'm afraid DDOT will crack down there too, or add signs that don't need to be there.

Posted by: DC Centurion's Shield | May 1, 2008 1:28 PM

Thanks, Wats, for such a helpful summary of transpo so far. I look forward to your next round. Me? I live and work off of Green (Columbia Heights and Gallery Place, respectively), so I'll never really be trying any other commute except Metro (which has worked like a charm for me everytime). But I'm sure other readers, and our fellow Grounds Crewers [especially the Family Brookes] find this great round-up helpful!

Posted by: Cole | May 1, 2008 3:24 PM

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