For many students, college is the first time they have to navigate a city by themselves. Washington, D.C., while not very large area-wise, cannot be navigated entirely by foot. Fortunately, there are many options for getting around.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority operates six subway lines in the D.C. area. Although none directly serve Georgetown, they are immensely useful for getting around the city and avoiding D.C. traffic.
The closest two stops to campus are Dupont Circle on the Red Line and Rosslyn on the Blue, Orange and Silver Lines, so choose the station based on your destination. Both can be reached by the free Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle buses provided by the university. The shuttles depart from the McDonough Bus Turnaround beside McDonough Arena. Buses run frequently — at least every 20 minutes — on weekdays but have minimal service on Saturdays and none at all on Sundays. To walk to the Metro, go across the Key Bridge to Rosslyn — it’s only a 15-minute walk from campus.
Once you get to the Metro, it’s relatively simple to navigate — consult the brightly colored maps to trace your route across the city. Purchase a rechargeable SmarTrip card your fi rst time at a Metro station or at CVS — they cost just $10 and come preloaded with $8 of fare.
WMATA also offers a bus service to complement the Metro, and there are quite a few accessible bus lines in Georgetown.
The G2 stops right outside the front gates and runs through Georgetown to Dupont Circle and beyond. It runs every half hour or so and sticks to its schedule relatively well. The D2 and D6 both run along Reservoir Road at the north edge of campus and also go to Dupont Circle. For more bus lines that serve Georgetown, check the WMATA website, wmata.org.
Metrobus charges a fl at rate for any trip: $1.60 with a SmarTrip card or $1.80 with cash, though some special routes cost extra.
In addition to the Metrobus routes run by WMATA, the District has the Circulator bus lines, two of which serve Georgetown.
These buses cost just $1, payable with cash or SmarTrip, and come every 10 minutes. One line, which runs along M Street, shuttles passengers between Rosslyn and Dupont Circle. The other line in Georgetown, which runs up Wisconsin Avenue, goes between Georgetown and Union Station via downtown D.C.
In addition to the GUTS bus shuttles to Metro stations, the university operates a few other free bus lines. The Wisconsin Avenue shuttle departs from outside of the Epicurean and Co. restaurant and serves three stops along Wisconsin Avenue, including stops near Safeway, Whole Foods and other shops in Glover Park. It runs at least every 20 minutes on weekdays. The Law Center shuttle serves Georgetown University Law Center’s campus in downtown D.C. The bus departs from the back of O’Donovan Hall at Prospect Street. The Arlington Loop shuttle serves a number of stops across the river in Arlington County, though it is less used by students. Its stop is located at the McDonough Bus Turnaround. Both the Law Center and Arlington Loop shuttles run rather infrequently on weekdays, so be sure to check the schedule posted on the website.
Sometimes, public transportation just doesn’t cut it. Taxis are plentiful and usually congregate around the front gates or the restaurant 1789. Since they are now required to accept credit cards, you don’t have to worry about having enough cash.
Even more popular with students are Uber, Lyft, Hailo and other apps that allow you to easily call a ride and pay via your phone. All three offer some sort of promotion for fi rst-time users and Georgetown students, so be sure to take advantage of these offers.
For longer trips or day outings, having a car to drive yourself might be the best option. Zipcar has cars on campus both by the Leavey Center and McDonough Arena, and Car2Go has smart cars throughout the neighborhood. Both are relatively cheap to join and charge based on how long you use the car.
Capital Bikeshare offers a fun, if somewhat less convenient, option for getting around D.C. Bikes can be rented from stations around the city and returned at a station near your destination. The closest station to campus is right outside the front gates on 37th Street, and there are three more along Wisconsin Avenue.
Many students bring their own bikes to school for getting around campus or the city. If you do choose to bring a bike, there are bike racks located near the entrances to most campus buildings and a bike repair station in Red Square.
GETTING HOME FOR HOLIDAYS
When the time comes to head home for breaks or a weekend getaway, you have a few options for getting home and getting to the airport or train station.
Most people from the East Coast take the train or bus home. Amtrak, Megabus and Boltbus all depart from Union Station and go to all major cities. If you purchase Student Advantage with your GOCard, you can get discounts on Amtrak fare.
If you have to fl y home, D.C. has three major airports: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport and Baltimore/Washington International Airport.
Reagan (DCA) is the closest — you can see and hear the planes fl ying over campus, one of which interrupted President Obama’s June 2013 climate change speech at Georgetown — located across the river in Arlington. Getting there is easy: A taxi will cost you under $20 and the domestic airport has a Metro stop on the Blue Line, which is accessible from Rosslyn.
Dulles (IAD) is farther away in Virginia and will cost you about $60 for a taxi. Another option is the 5A bus, operated by WMATA, which runs from the Rosslyn Metro station to Dulles for $7.
Going to BWI in a taxi will cost you upward of $100 but is easy with Amtrak or MARC rail service from Union Station.
Otherwise, you can use SuperShuttle –– a small bus service that splits a typical cab fare as you’ll share it with around six other people. Make sure you book in advance.
Additionally, Students of Georgetown, Inc. usually offers Turkey Shuttles, which provide service from campus to all three regional airports at Thanksgiving break.