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Old Aug 24, 10, 8:40 pm   #1
 
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5A Metrobus IAD-L'Enfant Plaza

Hoping to find someone with experience about getting from Dulles to downtown. I would like to take the 5A Metrobus from IAD to L'Enfant Plaza. Where do I purchase a ticket? How much is it and do I need correct change/cash only? Where do I catch the bus? I am arriving on Friday at around 4:30PM (of course!) and wonder if you think it's realistic to expect that there will be sufficient room for me, my carry on and a backpack, or is this completely unrealistic? If not, are there any other inexpensive options for getting to L'Enfant Plaza from IAD that you could suggest? I'd prefer not to spend a fortune on a taxi. I've never been to DC before, and would welcome any help you can offer. Thank you for any help you can give.

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Old Aug 24, 10, 9:50 pm   #2
 
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You pay the fare on the bus. It's $6.00 and you need exact change. Follow the signs for ground transportation at Dulles, exiting the lowest level of the main terminal. If you are one of the first 15 - 20 or so people in line you should not have trouble with that amount of luggage -- there are overhead luggage racks. It takes about an hour and is not a fun trip if you aren't among the first to board and don't get a seat, but still worth it when you are on a tight budget.
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Old Aug 24, 10, 10:02 pm   #3
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Originally Posted by BariCat View Post
are there any other inexpensive options for getting to L'Enfant Plaza from IAD that you could suggest?
You can take the Washington Flyer coach service from IAD ($10 one way, $18RT) to West Falls Church Metro station, and train from there. With the increase in bus fares think I'm going this route next trip. More frequent service, particularly on the weekends.
http://www.washfly.com/coach.html
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Old Aug 24, 10, 10:07 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
You can take Metro to West Falls Church, and then get the Washington Flyer coach service from there ($10 one way, $18RT). With the increase in bus fares think I'm going this route next trip. More frequent service, particularly on the weekends.
http://www.washfly.com/coach.html
If I end up taking the Washington Flyer to the West Falls Church Station, and taking the Metro from there, do I just buy a Metro ticket at the station? Again, is it necessary to have exact change, and if so, how much is it? Want to make sure I have the right change. I'm thinking this will probably be the easiest way to do this with the luggage, unless it's hard to take it on the Metro. How long is the Metro trip from West Falls Church to L'Enfant Plaza, and which line do I need to take? Many, many thanks from this befuddled traveler. All this, and I'll be trying to juggle my luggage having just had shoulder surgery, with my arm in a sling. Not looking forward to this!
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Old Aug 24, 10, 10:25 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by BariCat View Post
If I end up taking the Washington Flyer to the West Falls Church Station, and taking the Metro from there, do I just buy a Metro ticket at the station? Again, is it necessary to have exact change, and if so, how much is it? Want to make sure I have the right change. I'm thinking this will probably be the easiest way to do this with the luggage, unless it's hard to take it on the Metro. How long is the Metro trip from West Falls Church to L'Enfant Plaza, and which line do I need to take? Many, many thanks from this befuddled traveler. All this, and I'll be trying to juggle my luggage having just had shoulder surgery, with my arm in a sling. Not looking forward to this!
It's around $4.15 depending on time of day. You can purchase a farecard at a kiosk at the station and pay with a credit card or cash - exact change not needed. You would take the Orange Line toward New Carrollton from West Falls Church to L'Enfant Plaza. Takes about 30 minutes. The trip planner on metro's site might give you a better idea: http://www.wmata.com/
This option might also be crowded during rush hour and so it may possibly be better to stick with the 5A bus and get to L'Enfant in one straight shot.

Last edited by jean9nine; Aug 24, 10 at 10:30 pm..
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Old Aug 25, 10, 9:27 am   #6
 
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Thanks for the great info, Jean. I guess I'll see how the line waiting for the 5A bus looks - is there a separate line for that bus, only, so I'll know? And if the line looks too ominous, I could always go back in and head for the Flyer and do it via that route. But I think you're right. Better to just bite the bullet and hope I can find room for myself and my rollaboard on the 5A. I've got 6 bucks all set aside for it. I keep telling myself that one way or another, I'll get where I'm trying to go. Might take until midnight, but I'll get there.
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Old Aug 29, 10, 12:30 pm   #7
 
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Look for the "2E" location on the second sidewalk on the Ground Transportation level. You will see a small red-white-blue Metrobus sign mounted on a pole there.
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