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-   -   late night Metro safety from DCA (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/mid-atlantic/1226232-late-night-metro-safety-dca.html)

AK-business-traveler Jun 14, 11 4:02 pm

late night Metro safety from DCA
 
I'm flying into DCA this Saturday, arriving around 11pm. I need to get myself over to Crystal City.

Is it safe for me to take the Metro by myself that late? I know it's just a couple of stops away. Or am I better off just grabbing a cab?

I'm female and will be schlepping a big suitcase.

Thanks in advance for any advice here.

EDIT - sorry - meant to post this in the DC forum. Moderator, would you please move?

ColumbiaPete Jun 14, 11 6:22 pm


Originally Posted by AK-business-traveler (Post 16561307)
I know it's just a couple of stops away.

Actually, one stop away. While it's pretty unlikely you will be the victim of a crime during a 3 minute Metro trip, I'd probably go for the taxi just for the convenience. You might wait a few minutes for a train at 11:00 at night.

AlanInDC Jun 15, 11 5:43 am

I don't see any particular security issue with the Metro part -- the bigger question is after you leave the Metro in Crystal City. Where/how far are you going? CC will be deserted at that time for the most part.

Both the blue and yellow lines will be available, helping to shorten the wait, though weekend frequency is lower than during the weekdays and daytime.

SoCal Jun 15, 11 7:11 am

I agree. Going from the airport to the station (walking from most terminals) and being on the Metro is not the problem (depending on how easy it is for you to haul your bags), but walking from the station to anyplace more than a block or two away from the CC station could be more problematic (in terms of safety and, even more likely, comfort). Don't expect taxis to be waiting at the CC station (if memory serves me correct). And you could be waiting for 10-15 mins. at that hour for the next train. See www.wmata.com

kmfdm91 Jun 15, 11 2:27 pm

Welcome to Washington...here are a few things:

* You don't have to be worried with safety on the Metro at all, you'll be fine - especially in Virginia.
* You'll be fine in Crystal City/Pentagon City at any point in time, if it's 3 a.m. on a Sunday or whatever.

Now on to the options:
* I don't blame you if you don't want to do it, but firstly i'll suggest walking to the hotel, depending on what hotel you are in. The airport connects directly to the Mt. Vernon Trail and then onto the 'Water Park' in Crystal City (on Crystal Drive). From there, walking to any of the hotels is as easy as looking at the map. But, you said you had a bag, are female and obviously are concerned about security, so this option probably isn't your best option - since you aren't familiar with the area. Just to make it clear, if I got in at any point in time, I'd easily walk home (my place is between Crystal City and Pentagon City) with a few bags - instead of taking the train or a taxi.

* Metro isn't a bad option (at least you aren't stuck with the ridiculous fare schedule coming in on the weekend), but as others said - you'll probably have to wait for a few minutes to catch the train. One stop North and you'll be in Crystal City. Once you get here, depending on which hotel you are in, they'll be a walk 'underground', which is always (24 hours, even on weekend) staffed with security and has a bunch of cameras [there are a lot of DoD facilities in here which need security]. Also, there is an above-ground exit to Crystal City where you can walk to your hotel on the streets. As others have said - you'll be the only one on the streets for sure, it will be a ghost town for sure probably from about 21h00 on to about 10h00 Sunday Morning in Crystal City, but you'll be safe, for sure.

* A taxi is an okay option and obviously the easiest since you don't have to lug bags - but the meter will probably run about US$7-10 for the few blocks to any of the hotels nearby, plus a tip.

Enjoy your time here!

-jeremy

fastflyer Jun 15, 11 3:21 pm

The OP said she would be schlepping a large bag.

I would advise a taxi. Door-to-door service. Plus the driver should handle the bag in and out of the trunk of the car as a part of the standard tipped service.

Slightly OT, but one of the reasons we tip for these services was that passengers (who are so inclined) should be able to avoid handling their bags at any point -- porter at the airport, driver to the end destination, bellhop at the hotel. I actually hosted a woman from Asia who traveled with 10 suitcases, and paying/ tipping for bag handling was not only a luxury, it was a necessity.

Often1 Jun 15, 11 3:28 pm


Originally Posted by AK-business-traveler (Post 16561307)
I'm flying into DCA this Saturday, arriving around 11pm. I need to get myself over to Crystal City.

Is it safe for me to take the Metro by myself that late? I know it's just a couple of stops away. Or am I better off just grabbing a cab?

I'm female and will be schlepping a big suitcase.

Thanks in advance for any advice here.

EDIT - sorry - meant to post this in the DC forum. Moderator, would you please move?

Crystal City is deserted after the mall closes. I would take a taxi. Should be less than $10.

ColumbiaPete Jun 15, 11 6:20 pm

Certainly the areas to the east of Jeff Davis Highway (Route 1) are deserted at that time of night, the "office canyons". But the area of Crystal City with most of the hotels is actually pretty lively, especially during tourist season.
Tons of people coming and going from the hotels to the dining/drinking spots along 23rd Street and the places like Legal Sea Foods and Chili's.

I still think the OP is better in a taxi since she's not familiar with things and has luggage, but it's far from deserted around there.

AK-business-traveler Jun 15, 11 10:42 pm

Thanks for the advice
 
Thanks to all for the input - looks like a taxi will be easiest due to the bag issue. I'm staying at the Ritz-Carlton which is I believe near the metro entrance, so at least I'll be able to get out and around the following morning!

Appreciate the help. :-:

IADCAflyer Jun 16, 11 7:44 am


Originally Posted by AK-business-traveler (Post 16569680)
Thanks to all for the input - looks like a taxi will be easiest due to the bag issue. I'm staying at the Ritz-Carlton which is I believe near the metro entrance, so at least I'll be able to get out and around the following morning!

Appreciate the help. :-:

The Ritz Carlton is in Pentagon City, not Crystal City. That explains the two stop discrepancy.

Given that clarification, you can safely take the Metro. The entrance to the Ritz is directly across from the Metro exit (mall side) at Pentagon City.

AK-business-traveler Jun 16, 11 1:13 pm

Wonderful, thanks! As you can see, I don't know the area well...

Appreciate it!!

AK-business-traveler Jun 20, 11 4:07 pm

thanks again - Metro was perfectly fine at 11:30pm
 
Thanks again to all - I ended up taking the Metro around 11:30 on Saturday night. Was very quick and perfectly safe, with plenty of folks around. Appreciate all of the advice!

Rob Z Jun 22, 11 2:41 am

Best in the country
 
Glad it worked out .... Love the Metro! Best transportation system in the country, I think.

slawecki Jun 22, 11 8:40 am

virginia is pretty safe. do not take this as the metro as a whole.

http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/tra.../ytd_stats.pdf

kmfdm91 Jul 6, 11 10:33 am


Originally Posted by AK-business-traveler (Post 16569680)
Thanks to all for the input - looks like a taxi will be easiest due to the bag issue. I'm staying at the Ritz-Carlton which is I believe near the metro entrance, so at least I'll be able to get out and around the following morning!

Appreciate the help. :-:

If you are coming from the Metro, which would probably be the easiest for you, depending on the taxi queue, when you leave the Pentagon City station, go left, then up the escalator - Hotel Entrance will be in front of you on the right.

Also, if it's raining or unusually hot and away from any rush hour period, exit the train and turnstyle, turn left, go through the set of doors, up the escalator and into the mall, up the escalator twice more or elevator two floors, turn right and go to the Ritz through the mall entrance - but I would not recommend doing this during the day at any point in time - too many people and pulling luggage through the mall and escalator as a tourist will not be welcomed.

-jeremy


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