Yet again, the D.C. area is experiencing an influx of tourists. Sure, temperatures haven’t been terribly spring-like lately, but some signs of spring have arrived: The Nationals are back in town, the National Cherry Blossom Festival continues, and many, many families loaded with children on spring break have arrived in the area.
These visitors are presumably not familiar with the Metro system, so we’ve again gathered a list of tips and suggestions that out-of-towners need to know. Our suggestions, and those we have received from readers, are merely meant to help visitors learn more about getting around. Feel free to share any other recommendations in the comments below.
Stand On The Right
This is perhaps the Golden Rule of riding the Metro: When you’re on the escalators, stand on the right and walk on the left. So if you decide you don’t feel like walking, move to the right. Do not stand on the left side of the escalators.
@drgridlock Stand on the right, walk on the left. Nothing irritates locals like tourists standing on the left side of the escalator!
— Karen Kraus Harbert (@karenkraus) March 29, 2013
Don’t Stop Moving
We understand that to someone new to the Metro system, it can be confusing, which makes you want to stop walking while you figure out where to go next. Resist that urge. If you step off an escalator, walk out of a train or go through a faregate, and come to a complete stop, that impacts the people behind you. (Particularly when these people are on a moving escalator or trying to get off a train.)
When you need to get your bearings, just step off to the side.
@drgridlock keep moving! Don’t stop at the top or bottom of an escalator or fumble for your metro card at the turnstile.
— EmGusk (@EmGusk) March 29, 2013
— Blue Brain (@brainthinks) March 29, 2013
Fares and Farecards
It’s best to figure out your fare before entering the system, so that you know how much money you need on farecards. (Remember, if you use a paper farecard, add $1 to every trip.) Station maps tell you how much it will cost to go to any other stop in the system, which varies depending on the time of day. And have your farecard in your hand when you’re going through the gates to enter or exit the system, so that you aren’t That Person digging through your wallet at the turnstile while a large crowd gathers behind you.
— Tanya Washington (@MoniLondon) March 29, 2013
Don’t Block The Doors, Do Let Riders Off First
If you’re waiting to board a train, let riders get off before you get on. And if you are on a train and aren’t about to get off, don’t lurk around the doors. Move to the center of the train to clear out some space so that people can get on or off the train.
@drgridlock Don’t hover near the doors of the train unless you plan to get off at the next station.
— Stephen Medlock (@stevemmedlock) March 29, 2013
Prepare for Delays
Yeah, there will be unplanned delays. And they will occur at the most inopportune time, like when you have to get somewhere, and you’re already running late, and one of the kids just wouldn’t put on their shoes. So be prepared for that.
No Food Or Drink
This one is self-explanatory. No open food or drink allowed on the Metro system.