If you haven’t left for Insights 2008 at the Gaylord National in Washington DC yet, here’s a way for you to make it from the DC Ronald Reagan airport to the Gaylord National for a little over $3 (regular cab fare is $23 one way).
First, I took the train/bus here — grand total of about $4 — the cheapest that I have EVER paid to get from the airport to a convention.
To use the DC mass transit, you will need to take two trains (about 20 minutes each) plus one bus (about 20 minutes). The bus drops you directly in front of the Gaylord Hotel. Washington DC traffic is such that mass transit is probably faster than Super Shuttle or a Cab (it’s also significantly cheaper).
HERE’S HOW TO DO IT:
From inside the Ronald Reagan Airport near the luggage pickup, follow signs to METRO.
Get on the YELLOW line headed toward Fort Totten via Convention Center
In the lobby of the METRO (BEFORE you go into the train area) buy your fare card. I bought $20 because I am planning on doing some sightseeing.
Get the plastic card which is refillable — I think it is called SMARTCARD — because you can use that card on the bus. You can also add more money to them. I believe there is a small charge of about $5 to purchase the card then whatever you put onto it for value (it operates as a pre-paid Metro card)
Go up the LEFT Escalator to the YELLOW line headed to Fort Totten / Convention Center
Take the YELLOW train headed to Totten/Convention Center. You don’t have to worry about which yellow — so long as it’s headed in the right direction it will stop. In DC all the trains are identified by the station where they terminate.
Get off at L’ENFANT plaza.(about a 20 minute ride)
At L’ENFANT you need to cross over to the other side of the tracks — so go up the stairs and walk over the tracks and come down so you’re on the other side.
Get on the GREEN line headed to BRANCH AVE. (again, this train will be identified by color and final destination – Branch Ave)
Get off at SOUTHERN AVE METRO – this is the station where you are going to pick up the bus.
AFTER YOU COME UP THE STAIRS FROM THE PLATFORM, LOOK TO YOUR LEFT AND THERE WILL BE A BUS TRANSFER DISPENSER WHICH WILL GIVE YOU A FREE TRANSFER. PRINT A TRANSFER (ONE FOR EVERYONE TRAVELLING) AND GIVE IT TO THE DRIVER ALONG WITH .45 CENTS (if you don’t print the transfer the bus fare is $1.35).
Walk out to the bus area (you want to exit out the left and make a right — walk down to the bus shelter with NH-1 printed on it.
Get on the NH-1 Bus (if you took a free transfer ticket from in the station the fare is .45 — if not the fare was about $1.35 – exact change). When you get on the bus take the ticket from the driver. This is a transfer (again) and lets you get back on the bus for free anytime within 2 hours!
The NH-1 bus drops you directly in front of the Gaylord (no lengthy driveway to walk)
Washington DC traffic is awful — so even if you get a cab or shuttle there probably is some amount of waiting time that you will have to put up with. I lugged a large suitcase with me without any problems.
Wayne Schulz – Insights 2008