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Old 11-02-2010, 07:38 PM
 
885 posts, read 1,270,035 times
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Anyone in here have experience taking the bus to the Metro Station? Are there enough services? What's it like to take the bus to the Metro Station?

Do you recommend it or do you recommend driving to the station's parking lot, park your car there, and then take the metro?
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
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I've done it from 2 communities - Shirlington and Reston/Herndon. I have never had an issue with it. Some people get weird about "taking the bus" but the busses here in NoVA tend to be filled with white collar types just trying to get to their jobs closer to or inside the city. I MUCH prefer the bus to sitting in my car yelling at traffic. At least on the bus, I can sit back and enjoy a newspaper
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hilsmom View Post
I've done it from 2 communities - Shirlington and Reston/Herndon. I have never had an issue with it. Some people get weird about "taking the bus" but the busses here in NoVA tend to be filled with white collar types just trying to get to their jobs closer to or inside the city. I MUCH prefer the bus to sitting in my car yelling at traffic. At least on the bus, I can sit back and enjoy a newspaper
What about waiting for the bus at the stop? Or missing the bus by arriving at the stop 30 seconds late? Do they run 24/7?
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:25 PM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
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it depends where you are. No, they generally do NOT run around the clock. Services are much better around rush hours. I'll give you an example - in Reston during rush hour, you can catch a bus during the rush times every 5-7 minutes or so. Midday and later at night (past @6:30 or so?), the options for busses are every 20-30 minutes.

Is there a particular neightborhood you need to know about? That might help, because certain areas have much better service than others.
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:41 AM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
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I do it all of the time. Much better than driving to the station and parking, most of the time. It does add some time to the commute, but it isn't bad at all.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Virginia
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The bus leaving Lowes Island is very dependable as far as timing issues go. The one problem with taking my bus is they only run during rush hour so you can't come home early.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:22 AM
 
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Taking the bus to the metro is great, and you tend to save about 4 dollars a day versus parking at the metro stations. Also, if you have a phone with internet access you can check the metro mobile website for when a Metro bus will be getting to your specific stop. Unfortunately the site only tracks Metro lines and not local lines like the Dash or Connector. This helped me out a lot when it was cold or raining, just timed my leaving the house to get to the bus stop a couple of minutes before the bus arrived.

Remember to check your trip times as well, as it takes longer to get to the Metro station on the bus versus driving.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:13 AM
 
Location: NoVa
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I live off Columbia Pike and fortunately have access to the 16 lines. During rush hour, there are more bus running depending on what line you want to catch. For me I catch the 16L for express to Pentagon Metro which operates every 30 minutes. I can catch the 16A/D that passes at my stop too if I miss my bus. Bus ride to metro is about 20-30 minutes depending on traffic and total commute time for me is 40-60 minutes depeding on train time. Therefore, public transportation is actually fastest for me if there are no delays with metro.

My only thing with taking the bus is that if you miss the bus, you'll have to wait for the next one. Other than that, I think it's less stressful taking the bus than driving your car and park. With parking, you have to leave your house by a certain time in case parking is filled up.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:41 AM
 
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I think it depends on where you live. Some areas have better bus coverage than others. The bus is likely cheaper than parking at Metro but for some it is worth having the flexibility of driving for that portion of the commute.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:43 AM
 
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You'd be wise to check the actual route paths of the buses you're considering. The first time I took a Metrobus from the Annandale area to the King Street Metro station, I was stunned: The bus goes into the Landmark Mall parking area, quite a detour, and sits there for a few minutes waiting for passengers, killing time if it's ahead of schedule. It was quite frustrating. So just be aware that what you think might be a straight path might not be.

Metro's NextBus system is seriously flawed. Yes, it doesn't account for congestion, but the 2 times I've used it, it was so off that it was ridiculous.

Many Metro stations don't have a lot of parking--that and the cost savings are the prime reasons for taking a bus. Also, I'd eagerly swap 15 or 20 minutes of being able to read on the ride instead of having to focus on driving (and other drivers).

Also, check out in advance just where you need to take the bus--find out if there's a covered shelter there. I'm pretty sure that the number of unprotected-from-the-elements stops outnumber sheltered ones.

And if you have to take it on Sundays from the burbs, you're probably out of luck (at least, that's what I've found in my experience).

But I'd take public transportation a lot more frequently if it was an option for my work/life schedule. I'm past my days schlepping groceries on the bus, tho!
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