It’s almost the holiday season. If you are not thinking of Black Friday or Christmas shopping yet, you may probably be focused just on Thanksgiving Day. If you’re thinking of visiting your family, it’s time to decide and plan your trip before you get busier or before the trains, planes, and buses get fully booked.
Driving your own car? Well and good. Just be prepared for traffic. If you live in Washington, D.C., you know public transportation can be easy. But if you’re a new visitor, like it’s the first time you’re visiting your significant other’s hometown, you may consider navigating the city by riding the trains.
Exploring the city can be embarrassing for tourists but it can be easier with some tips and tricks. Ride like a local and people won’t mistake you for someone who looks lost in public. Here are some easy and quick tips on how you can confidently use the transport system.
Save Your Coins
You can buy a pre-paid card for more rides in the future but since you are a visitor, you must only buy for specific rides. Before you get a SmartTrip card, check the top of the card dispenser.
Some people leave their cards there. If you see one, check the remaining balance. This also means you can save some of your money.
Refer to the Train as the ‘Metro’
This isn’t the subway. The locals call it ‘the Metro’. Call it such to blend in with D.C. people.
The Metro is one effective and efficient transit system in Washington. It will be better to explore the city if you have someone with you.
Check Signs and Maps
You can also check the Internet when you get lost but do take advantage of the map of the rail lines. There are maps and signs provided in every Metro station.
You will see all the stations by stops and color. You will also see the locals checking out the map because the whole system can be complicated.
Prepare Your Metro Card Out
Act as if you’re always in a hurry, therefore, bring out your card even before you get off the train. Have it ready in your hand so you don’t have to search through your pocket or purse.
Always be ready to swipe the SmarTrip card right away. Again, you don’t want to keep the people behind you waiting for you to finish swiping and getting out or getting in.
Use the Escalator Properly
Believe it or not, not many people follow the correct escalator etiquette. In some countries, people are frequently reminded of ‘Walk on the left, stand on the right’.
For residents of Washington, D.C., it’s the same. You just need to follow. Don’t forget lest you want to annoy those people behind you. Make sure you keep the flow moving because there will be people always in a hurry.