The District is already bearing the brunt of the government shutdown. It’s our neighbors who are furloughed, our museums that are shuttered, our parks that are off-limits. One bright spot is that Metro has been running on time — and often with extra seats — so at least it’s been easy to get around.
That ends at 10 p.m. Friday. Thanks to terrible timing, Metro has its own shutdown planned for Washington.
Service adjustments scheduled for the entire weekend are about as inconvenient as it can get: The Red Line won’t be operating between Dupont Circle and NoMa-Gallaudet. That means Union Station, Judiciary Square and Farragut North will be closed. And no one will be transferring to the Red Line at Gallery Place or Metro Center. In addition, the Blue and Yellow lines will be running trains just once every 16 minutes. And at the Greenbelt station on the Green Line, you might have to wait up to 25 minutes.
Maybe disheartened federal workers won’t want to leave home, but if anyone is looking for a change of scenery and a way to avoid switching between trains and shuttles all weekend, there are a few new transportation options to consider.
The car-rental giant now lends out wheels by the hour through a system that’s similar to Zipcar. Enterprise debuted the CarShare program in D.C. on Sept. 23 with a fleet of about 40 vehicles. Expect that number to double within 30 days, Enterprise’s Michael Macari says.
“We’re going to put cars in all eight wards,” says Macari, who’s targeting Dupont Circle, Gallery Place, Union Station and Adams Morgan for the expansion.
If you’re worried about when that next paycheck is coming, then join soon. Until the end of the year, the $25 application fee and the first $40 annual membership fee are being waived. Rates have started out low — many cars are available for $5 an hour, even on weekends.
People who sign up online have to wait to get their cards in the mail. But you can get behind the wheel ASAP by visiting the Enterprise office at 1029 Vermont Ave. NW (open weekdays 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.-noon), where you can get verified on the spot.
A bisected Red Line will make trips between Bethesda and Silver Spring pretty tough. But the new Capital Bikeshare stations that opened in Montgomery County, Md., last Friday could counteract that. Now, all you have to do to travel from one neighborhood to the other is grab a bike from a dock and ride it along the Capital Crescent Trail — although it’s technically shut down in Washington, the trail is open in Montgomery County.
This service that helps people rent out their cars has been available in Washington for a few years. This week, the company announced it was suspending hourly rentals and switching to a daily-or-longer model. It’s a move that’ll make RelayRides more money, and it should also bring in extra cash for folks who list their cars and trucks on the site. Federal workers have to like the sound of that.
If they’re renters, they’ll also like the prices — for instance, you can borrow a truck for $50 a day. That might be overkill for just getting around D.C. this weekend, but I’m willing to pay that to help a few people move out of our House.