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The Otakon 2021 Travelers Advisory Thread

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Welcome again hons to another Otakon Travelers Advisory thread.  As usual this thread is made to help Otakon goers avoid traffic troubles (and the Noid) on thier way to the 26th convention.
This year those taking METRO need to take note the platform reconstruction project this summer closes the
GREEN/YELLOW Line from Greenbelt to West Hyattsville.  FREE Shuttle buses are available from the affected stations to Fort Totten, where the Green/Yellow line will terminate.  The MARC train or the METRO ORANGE Line are great alternatives.

TSA still requires masks be worn on ALL public transportation.  Please keep this in mind.

There will be further advisories leading up to the 26th Otakon.  See you hons then!

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Speaking of Metro....This is posted in the "How to Get Here" page already but even I took a bit of time to notice it...

If you have a SmarTrip card issued prior to 2012 you need to arrange to get it replaced

TLDR; They're beginning to phase out the old fare machines this month. The new machines can't read the old SmarTrip cards.

I also want to add that if you try to do the mail-in option (which does grant you the $5 bonus credit into your already existing credit) The "mailed back within 10 business days" may be misleading. After support told us our family could mail back our 3 Smart Trip cards in one envelope (with 3 different forms corresponding to each one of course) it took them over 4 weeks worth of "business days" to mail us the new ones... (aka 28+ business days)

Granted mathematically it matches up w/ "10 business days per card" even though they received them at once...And in case you're wondering, no they came back to us in separate envelopes.

Edited by Ikano
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If you're accessing MARC/Amtrak via Light Rail, trains are single-tracked from Falls Road to Camden Station. There is a bus bridge serving the affected stops. Plan accordingly.

Also, MARC's newer train sets don't have anywhere good to put your stuff. Consider Amtrak instead, if you can.

COVID-19 testing is available on the baggage claim level at Dulles. At DCA, testing is offered near the Terminal B checkpoint. Appointments are recommended.

At all three area airports, concessions and store hours may be in flux. Know before you go and, if you have a long flight, plan accordingly.

The TSA is allowing hand sanitizer containers of up to 12 oz to be in your carry-on, separate from the travel-size liquids. If you take advantage, however, plan for additional screening.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Couple more important METRO updates:

Service starting July will now run until MIDNIGHT.
RED Line will also be affected this summer, with single tracking between the Dupont Circle & Van Ness stations July 17 - August 19!
But on August 7 & 8, trains will NOT run between these stations, and a bus bridge will be operating to fill that gap.
One more thing, Metro warns add'l shutdowns may be required next year in this part of the
RED Line for safety testing.


Edited by CocoFaerie
Added more info.
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  • 2 weeks later...

The Blue, Orange and Silver lines will be affected during Otakon (but I think they're single-tracking, so it'll probably just be a delay in your trip).  And as CocoFaerie mentioned, the red line is affected too, although with some stations closed (but they usually have free bus service for customers).

Updated trackwork for metro is at:  wmata.com/service/track-work.cfm

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