From airport parking lots to hourly garages, we’re conditioned to whip out cash and credit cards when trying to park. So it’s not shocking that out-of-towners get flummoxed by parking procedures at some Metro stations.
Imagine driving to the nearest Metro station, not interested in tackling precarious traffic circles and armed with plenty of monument ground to cover. Ready to pay to park in a Metro lot and hop the train to sight-see, you see that you can’t pay with cash or card at that station ( here’s a list of stations that do accept credit cards) but instead need a SmarTrip card.
The problem is you don’t know what a Smart Trip card is, and there’s a trail of savvy Metro riders who have to back up their vehicles and let you out of line. You have to figure out where to park your vehicle and where to get a SmarTrip card in the first place (we won’t make you hunt, click here for details).
Griper Melissa noticed how visitors to the D.C. area didn’t understand how it worked and were treated dismissively as a result.
“The Greenbelt metro has a very large, red sign at the entrance that says 'A SmarTrip card is required to pay parking fees,” Melissa reported. “Please put one at the entrance to the College Park metro. The parking garage exit is often stopped by confused tourists. It is annoying for commuters and embarrassing that we treat visitors so poorly.”
We reached out to WMATA and haven’t gotten a response. We’ll update the post when we do. Are there any other Metro stations that need better signage?