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Old Jun 3, 04, 12:48 pm   #1
 
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Need to get from Dulles to BWI cheap?

I am flying into Dulles from Europe and need to get to BWI for a flight
to my destination. Is ther any cheap way to get from Dulles to BWI
other than renting a car for an hour or two?
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Old Jun 3, 04, 1:31 pm   #2
 
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A relevant question is how much time as well as money do you have to spend?

It's possible (but not ultra convenient) to get from IAD to BWI using the Washington Metro system. Allow at least three hours for the transfer, and three and a half to four is probably more realistic.

1)-Take a #5A bus from Dulles to the L'Enfant Plaza Metrorail station.

2)-Take a Green Line Metrorail subway train from L'Enfant Plaza to Greenbelt Metrorail station

3)-Take a #B30 bus from Greenbelt Station to BWI

You can check timetables for the date and time you'd be making this trip by using Metro's "Rideguide" feature at:

http://rideguide.wmata.com/index.html

The IAD to BWI cost, according to Metro's website, would be $7.10.
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Old Jun 3, 04, 3:27 pm   #3
 
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If time if no obstacle, you can also take the free shuttle from IAD to the Metro station (it's about a 20-minute ride, I believe), take the Metro over to Union Station, and hop the MARC train (if you're going on a weekday) up to BWI rail station for just a couple bucks. Then there's a free shuttle bus from the BWI train station to the airport. I've done it a couple times before. I needed about 90 minutes at rush hour, if I recall correctly. Those were with little waiting time, too.
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Old Jun 3, 04, 4:20 pm   #4
 
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Free shuttle from IAD to the Metro? I thought the only options were $8 to West Falls Church or $2.50 to Rosslyn?
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Old Jun 3, 04, 5:18 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gutt22
If time if no obstacle, you can also take the free shuttle from IAD to the Metro station (it's about a 20-minute ride, I believe), take the Metro over to Union Station, and hop the MARC train (if you're going on a weekday) up to BWI rail station for just a couple bucks. Then there's a free shuttle bus from the BWI train station to the airport. I've done it a couple times before. I needed about 90 minutes at rush hour, if I recall correctly. Those were with little waiting time, too.
90 minutes from IAD to BWI? With all due respect, not doable.

1. IAD - West Falls Church Metro: Washington Flyer Coach: 25 minutes, $8
2. West Falls Church Metro - Union Station Metro : 35 minutes, $2.20 (off-peak) or $2.65 (peak)
3. Union Station - BWI Train Station (MARC): 35 minutes, $6
4. BWI Train Station - BWI Terminal (Shuttle Bus): 10 minutes, Free

That's 105 minutes already, not counting waiting (and there will be significant waiting) or even walking (e.g., from the Union Station Metro to the train), or time needed to buy tickets, etc.

Also, I am not aware of a free shuttle from IAD to any Metro station, the only options I know are either take the Washington Flyer to West Falls Church Metro ($8 one way), or Express Bus 5A to either Rosslyn ($2.50, about 40 minutes) or L'Enfant Plaza ($2.50, about 55 minutes).

Last edited by Eugene; Jun 3, 04 at 7:12 pm.. Reason: It's Rosslyn, not Reston... Duh!
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Old Jun 3, 04, 6:33 pm   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene
Also, I am not aware of a free shuttle from IAD to any Metro station, the only options I know are either take the Washington Flyer to West Falls Church Metro ($8 one way), or Express Bus 5A to either Reston ($2.50, about 40 minutes) or L'Enfant Plaza ($2.50, about 55 minutes).
i could swear i've gotten from iad to l'enfant plaza on the 5a in considerably less time than 55 minutes (~30). if you hit your transfers right, you can get from l'enfant plaza to union station in 20 minutes. figure 30 minutes at union station then another 30 to bwi (assuming you get one of the faster trains; i usually splurge on amtrak personally). that's 110 minutes, but let's say 2 hours. 90 minutes seems theoretically possible, but i certainly wouldn't bet on it. aren't there flights from iad to your destination?
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Old Jun 3, 04, 7:11 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moondog
i could swear i've gotten from iad to l'enfant plaza on the 5a in considerably less time than 55 minutes (~30).
I'm afraid your memory fails you. Look at the schedule, even late at night on a weekend it takes at least 45 minutes, and 53 minutes in the middle of the day on a weekday. Based on my (admittedly, somewhat limited) experience, it often takes a bit longer than the schedule says. As a reference point, I took it last week in mid-afternoon from Rosslyn to IAD, and it was almost 50 minutes with all the traffic.


Quote:
Originally Posted by moondog
if you hit your transfers right, you can get from l'enfant plaza to union station in 20 minutes.
Actually, depending on the time of the day, you can do it even faster, 15 minutes or so.


Quote:
Originally Posted by moondog
figure 30 minutes at union station then another 30 to bwi (assuming you get one of the faster trains; i usually splurge on amtrak personally).
The OP wanted a cheap option, and Amtrak is substantially more expensive than MARC. Also, "Express" MARC trains (those that skip most stops) rival Amtrak on speed and take about 25 minutes, but you have to be lucky to catch one.

Also, don't forget that you need to take a shuttle from the BWI train station to the terminal, that often reqires 10-15 minutes wait plus 10 minute ride.


Quote:
Originally Posted by moondog
90 minutes seems theoretically possible, but i certainly wouldn't bet on it.
Even based on the best-case scenario, 90 minutes is not theoretically possible. No less than 2 hours under any circumstances, and only if you do not have any wait for the train at the Union Station. Otherwise, two and a half hours.

The option suggested by greggwiggins above is a clear winner cost-wise ($7.10 regular fare and astonishing $2.05 senior fare), and, if connections work out, may even rival the MARC route time-wise (e.g., if you can catch, say, 3:40 pm bus at Dulles, you'll get to BWI terminal by 6 pm, provided everything runs on schedule).
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Old Jun 3, 04, 7:35 pm   #8
 
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how about a rental car

I can get a car for $50. How long should I budget if I arrive at
315pm on a tuesday?
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Old Jun 3, 04, 8:23 pm   #9
 
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I am thinking about 1.5 hours for the drive. Traffic should be average at that time. Not light, but not too bad either. Then again, I495 is a construction zone nearly every weekday.
The public transit options would be much less then $50 .


Quote:
Originally Posted by sanFF
I can get a car for $50. How long should I budget if I arrive at
315pm on a tuesday?
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Old Jun 3, 04, 9:02 pm   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene
The OP wanted a cheap option, and Amtrak is substantially more expensive than MARC. Also, "Express" MARC trains (those that skip most stops) rival Amtrak on speed and take about 25 minutes, but you have to be lucky to catch one.
Unreserved is about 2x as much -- still pretty cheap and well worth the extra $5 imo.
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Old Jun 3, 04, 9:18 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanFF
I can get a car for $50. How long should I budget if I arrive at
315pm on a tuesday?
Yikes. I don't want to scare you but say you get on the road at 3:45-ish, getting from the Dulles Toll Road to the Capital Beltway could be a major ordeal (major backups at that interchange depending on your luck). And then it's bumper-to-bumper at least until 270 and pass that, it may be congested again until you hit the BW-Parkway and the Parkway is no picnic either. Traffic is abysmal during the evening rush hour which starts anywhere from 3pm onwards depending on which interstate. You may be better off taking the 5A bus into the city (eastbound traffic on toll road to I66 into the city is light before 4pm) and switching to the train from Union Station. It might take a little longer via bus/train but you'll save yourself a lot of sanity
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Old Jun 4, 04, 8:39 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanFF
I am flying into Dulles from Europe and need to get to BWI for a flight
to my destination. Is there any cheap way to get from Dulles to BWI
other than renting a car for an hour or two?
I have the same need as sanFF with a small twist. My family(spouse and two teens) and I are off to Iceland for KEF-fest We leave BWI at 8:30 PM on Sat June 26th. We are able to get cheap fares from GRR($130) into either IAD or DCA but not BWI. Not knowing IAD, DCA or BWI at all our concern is how do we get a nervous spouse, kids and luggage from IAD/DCA-->BWI and back?

From prior posters it seems there is no direct shuttle between the airports. What would you guestimate is the hassle factor for us on public transportation? Which airport would be "better" to fly into?

I'm inclined to go the one day, one way car rental route. How is beltway traffic on a Sat?

Thanx in advance for your thoughts. Dlouise37
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Old Jun 4, 04, 9:49 am   #13
 
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SanFF, I don't mean to scare you, either, but blueDC has it right... traffic around here can be HORRENDOUS due to many factors: congestion, bad signage, construction, people who don't know how to drive...heck, these days we even have to be on the lookout for "dive-bombing" cicadas! (bugs) And if the weather sucks, fuggedaboutit.... people totally wig out here if there's so much as one drop of rain. So if you're going to drive, you do need to allow yourself enough of a time cushion. Also, have you checked the IAD transportation page to see all your options? http://www.metwashairports.com/Dulles/ground.htm

dlouise37, as to which is the best airport transportation wise, it's DCA hands-down. It's right on the Metro route (blue/yellow lines) and just 10 minutes from DC. You could take either train and transfer to a red line train to Union Station and then take the MARC (commuter train) and shuttle bus combo to BWI... see the WMATA (Metro) "Ride Guide" comment in greggwiggins's post above. Hope this helps!

ETA: Beltway traffic on Saturdays isn't usually too bad

Last edited by Gator Gal; Jun 4, 04 at 9:50 am.. Reason: add comment
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Old Jun 4, 04, 11:21 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator Gal
dlouise37, as to which is the best airport transportation wise, it's DCA hands-down. It's right on the Metro route (blue/yellow lines) and just 10 minutes from DC. You could take either train and transfer to a red line train to Union Station and then take the MARC (commuter train) and shuttle bus combo to BWI... see the WMATA (Metro) "Ride Guide" comment in greggwiggins's post above. Hope this helps!

ETA: Beltway traffic on Saturdays isn't usually too bad
If you can get the same fare into either DCA or IAD take the DCA routing because it'll be much, Much, MUCH easier and faster to get to BWI from National than from Dulles. But keep in mind if you're traveling on a Saturday that the MARC commuter trains don't run on weekends and you'll need to travel AMTRAK from Union Station or the Metro rail/bus combo from Greenbelt.
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Old Jun 4, 04, 12:03 pm   #15
 
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Having spent 50 minutes driving 12 miles down I-495 this morning, I can say only one thing: TAKE THE PUBLIC TRANSIT
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