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CocoFaerie

The 2018 Washington Area Travelers Advisory Thread

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Welcome to 2018 hons.  This thread will help alert you hons to important diversions & changes to the rails & trails so you won't get bogged down on the road to the 25th Otakon.

First, some important changes involving metro:  Riders can no longer use the trains & buses if their SmarTrip or CharmCard would lead to a negative balance (i.e. not enough balance to make your trip).  Next, there's a new intiative for 2018 called the "Rush Hour Promise" expected to be approved today.  That would offer refunds for Metrorail riders if the trains are excessively late, or there's an unexpected disruption, etc.  More about that to come.  Last for now, work continues on making celluar service available in more underground tunnels within the network.  You'll notice that over the course of the Otakon's stay in DC.

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Something important to note for 2018.  If you are taking metro, note that parking rates have changed, and are now in effect on Saturdays.  These rates vary from station to station, so read carefully.

RINKU to New Rates

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https://wtop.com/tracking-metro-24-7/2018/02/part-metro-red-line-shutdown-august-new-shutdowns-announced/

No trains through Rhode Island Avenue or Brookland-CUA on the Red Line all August, single tracking through downtown on blue, orange and silver starting 8/11 (Saturday).

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57 minutes ago, Aresef said:

https://wtop.com/tracking-metro-24-7/2018/02/part-metro-red-line-shutdown-august-new-shutdowns-announced/

No trains through Rhode Island Avenue or Brookland-CUA on the Red Line all August, single tracking through downtown on blue, orange and silver starting 8/11 (Saturday).

Oh my, those are some significant changes.  Fortunately, my travels don't take me through those affected lines.  Same can't be said other expected Otakon goers.

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2 hours ago, CocoFaerie said:

Oh my, those are some significant changes.  Fortunately, my travels don't take me through those affected lines.  Same can't be said other expected Otakon goers.

If anything, it's a reminder that it's really nice to have a hotel. I'm getting on the red after the con, but the other way to Union station, from where I'm catching a train to BWI...where I'll stay a night ahead of a crack-of-dawn flight to *another con.*

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Red line was a pain last year with the single-tracking through Metro Center. Now we're going to be hit on the Orange/Blue/Silver line to GET to Metro Center. <_< Can I vote for the JR Yamanote Line to be transferred to DC? :wub:

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For those who plan on using Uber, Lyft, etc.:

I drive for Uber in and around DC. The city's street layout is insane. (I thank the deity of your choice for the Waze app!) I suppose back in the 1700's when the streets were originally laid out, things were more sedate considering you only had horses and carriages to deal with. With today's modern cars and (ugh!) massive SUVs, DC's streets are woefully small in most places.

Here's a couple suggestions from the driver's point of view to make the pickup smoother (these would apply to any of the ridesharing apps, not just Uber):

  1. Find a place where the driver can at least partially get their car out of the flow of traffic and make your app request from there. DC drivers are notoriously snippy when someone is blocking their lane to do a pickup.
  2. Once you've used the app to request a ride, stay in that location (Unless you're using Uber Express Pool, see below). If the rider has location services turned off on their mobile device, the driver will have no idea where the rider has moved to.

In the case of Uber, there's three levels of basic service with the third level recently added. I encounter a lot of confusion from riders regarding these levels of service so here they are in a nutshell:

  1. UberX - The most expensive of the three. You get the driver and the car from pickup to drop off with no side trips to pick up/drop off strangers .
  2. Uber POOL - The mid-priced option. You will likely be sharing the vehicle with one or more strangers and may not be taken to your drop off first.
  3. Uber Express POOL - The newest and cheapest option. I just found out about them this week when I started encountering them. Identical to Uber POOL EXCEPT: You may be directed by the app to walk to a specific pickup point and/or may be dropped off away from the desired destination and have to walk the rest of the way. That the rider has to walk partway appears to be why the service is cheaper than Uber Pool. These displaced pickup and drop off points seem to be decided on so that the driver doesn't have to do a lot of backtracking after the pickup/drop off.
Edited by Fadamor

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Here is an important notice for you commuters.  MdTA will soon begin the transition to all-electronic TOLL collection (ETC) at its facilities.  These should be operational come summer of next year.

ARTICLE

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