This section of InsideTransit will help you to understand how the Washington DC subway system works, pricing, routings, tips, and more.
Allen’s System Overview
This May I had my first opportunity to ride the WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) and learn the workings of the system for InsideTransit. The system reminds me a lot of Atlanta’s MARTA in its map design and station layout.
Some of the pros of the system:
- Excellent air conditioning – it was very warm and on each carriage I entered, the A/C was great
- Easy accessibility to the Ronald Reagan Airport – The Yellow and Blue lines stop at the airport
- Good signage in the stations showing next train and repair/maintenance work
- Excellent accessibility for handicapped/luggage – they claim that the entire system is handicapped accessible. This is the first system I have come across that makes this claim
Some of the cons of the system:
- Many of the stations are very dark – I would be a bit concerned to travel on this system late at night
- The system feels “old” — most of the cars appear to be at least 15-20 yrs old (though I admit they are in pretty good shape)
- Too many automated announcements – one on station entry, one on station stop, one on station exit
- and the biggest con — very, very confusing payment scheme