Thursday, August 13, 2015

Tips for using the Metro Lines in Northern Virginia

If you want to pick up the Metro in Northern Virginia, you have a few options because you can take the Orange, Blue, Yellow or Silver Lines. Taking the Metro is convenient because you don't have to worry about the car parking dilemma once you get to D.C., especially during special events.

Parking in general, special events or not, can be difficult and the free parking down by the monuments typically fills up quickly. It's more financially feasible to take the Metro in most cases rather than park in one of the pay parking areas in downtown D.C.

Here's a quick rundown of each Metro line and the stops you can access in Northern Virginia:

Blue Line: The Blue Line picks up in Springfield, the only station in Fairfax County, then runs to Van Dorn Street on the outskirts of Alexandria. From here it goes into the heart of Alexandria at King Street. From King Street the train continues through Alexandria at the Braddock Road stop to the Ronald Reagan National Airport, Crystal City, Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery and then at Rosslyn. From here the line turns and heads into Washington D.C. through to Maryland at the other end of the line at the Largo Town Center.

Yellow Line: The Yellow Line also only has one stop in Fairfax County and this is located at the Huntington Station. From here it turns into Alexandria and stops at Eisenhower Avenue, King Street, Braddock Road, Ronald Reagan National Airport, Crystal City, and Pentagon. At this point, the Yellow Line goes east and heads into Washington D.C. proper.

Orange Line: The Orange Line runs west in Fairfax County. The stops are located at Vienna (one end of the line), Dunn Loring-Merrifield, West Falls Church, East Falls Church, Ballston-MU, Virginia Square-GMU (George Mason University), Clarendon, Courthouse and Rosslyn. After Rosslyn, the rail crosses the Potomac River and you'll hit the Washington D.C. stops which then lead to Maryland and ends at New Carrolton, the other end of the line. A popular line being it crosses the Smithsonian Station stop.

Silver Line: Opened in July 2014, the silver line is still a work in process. Eventually, it will run out to Dulles International Airport, but currently the route is from Wiehle-Reston East to Largo Town Center. Basically, it shares track with the Blue and Orange lines, but hits different areas of Northern Virginia the existing lines do not reach.

There is also a Red Line, but this one runs through Maryland and D.C. There are several options for starting or ending your journey in Northern Virginia by Metro. The Orange, Blue, Yellow and Silver lines are pretty accessible and parking is available. Additionally, many Metro buses run to the various stations.

You can view the Metro Rail Map on the Metro's website to give you a better visual of all the stops in Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland. This map includes the Red and Green Lines as well, which may help you navigate any train transfers you may need to take in order to get you closest to your destination.

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