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Union Station to IAD

Union Station to IAD

Old Jan 3, 12, 1:29 am
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Union Station to IAD

As per the title, I have to get from Union station to IAD on a Sunday afternoon. What's my best option? I was thinking about a taxi but I know that the DC cabs don't take credit cards.... I was also thinking about getting a car service (towncar), would they pick me up at the entrance to the station? Any help is appreciated! Also how long should it take eg. what are the general traffic patterns? Thanks!
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Old Jan 3, 12, 4:32 am
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You can do car service or call a VA Taxi service when you arrive to pick you up. You may also want to check out the option of a one way car rental.

Car service will be there at prescheduled time/when you arrive, most expensive option
VA Taxi won't, and you need to wait to call as they will leave if you don't meet them when you arrive. On regular day, its probably within 15 minutes of a call, but on inclement wx/busy day, can take longer for one to ahow up
Rental can be hassle to deal with on either end, but you are in control (best if you are familiar with roads or have gps)
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Old Jan 3, 12, 7:22 am
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if you wait til next year, you can take metro. if the VA taxi is in VA, i would allow closer to 1/2 an hr for arrival, even on sun. the trip to iad should take 30-45 min, unless............ and on i66, there are a lot of unlesses. i drive it backwards(against commuters) a couple times a week. between construction and crashes, it is a very unpredictable trip.
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Old Jan 3, 12, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by slawecki View Post
if you wait til next year, you can take metro. if the VA taxi is in VA, i would allow closer to 1/2 an hr for arrival, even on sun. the trip to iad should take 30-45 min, unless............ and on i66, there are a lot of unlesses. i drive it backwards(against commuters) a couple times a week. between construction and crashes, it is a very unpredictable trip.
The trip isn't until March, but I think the Metro was opening up in 2013 correct? I have a ton of baggage with me so a car would probably be more convenient. Price isn't as much of a problem as it's being paid for with a set budget. So then I'm correct in saying that I can't just walk up to the taxi rank and ask to go to the airport, I have to call a specific airport taxi?
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Old Jan 3, 12, 11:41 am
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You can walk up to the taxi rank and get in any taxi to Dulles. They will, in fact, be happy because it's an expensive trip.

Note that the taxi lines at Union Station can be fairly long at times.
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Old Jan 3, 12, 1:11 pm
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Car Service is Easy

Call Red Top Sedan (not Taxi). They will pick you up in a Town Car, take you to IAD, accept CC, and charge approx. $15 over the average meter rate.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Call Red Top Sedan (not Taxi). They will pick you up in a Town Car, take you to IAD, accept CC, and charge approx. $15 over the average meter rate.
+1 on this. I've used them several times and they are efficient and reliable.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 1:20 pm
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Check Groupon and Living Social (and Amazon Local Daily Deals, tippr, and the other 200 similar-to-groupon sites that have popped up). Airport car service is on offer on one of these sites at least once or twice a month, for about $30-40 one-way. If Groupon isn't your thing or the budget doesn't mean you need to find the cheapest option, then another vote for Red Top. They're (no pun intended) tops.

If you are arriving on Amtrak, the driver will likely meet you inside, in the central hall of Union Station, up the escalator from where the trains come in. Sometimes they do wait down where the trains come in but the Amtrack security folks chase them off, more for causing a traffic jam than anything, there's just not enough room for people. So clarify the pickup location when booking.

I would advise against Metro on a Sunday; there is a decent and low-cost bus service that you can pick up at the Rosslyn metro but we do like to do our track work on the weekends. You see a lot of single-tracking, closed stations with bus shuttles running between, and delays. It's too early to tell if they'll be working on the day the OP needs service but I'd not want to risk it.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 3:49 pm
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To clarify, Metro to Dulles will NOT open in 2013. Only the first phase of the project, to Wiehle Avenue (just past Tysons Corner), is expected to be finished in late 2013, and that is if nothing unexpected impedes progress. Phase 2 is only now completing preliminary engineering, and if all funding comes through and all goes well with construction would not open till 2016 at the earliest.

Car service or taxi is the easiest and fastest, but for those on a budget the options would be

Metro Red Line to Metro Center -> Metro Orange Line to West Falls Church -> Washington Flyer shuttle bus (http://www.washfly.com/ ) $2.75 + $10

Metro Red Line to Metro Center -> Metro Orange or Blue Line to Rosslyn -> Metrobus 5A (http://www.wmata.com/bus/timetables/dc/05a.pdf ) $1.60 + $6

(absolute cheapest but also far and away the longest)
Georgetown Circulator to M St & Wisconsin Ave NW -> Rosslyn Circulator to Rosslyn (or walk about a mile) -> Metrobus 5A $1 + $6

While it is true that weekend track work can add significant delays, it is usually announced ahead of time on th WMATA website. One thing to note: the most disruptive shutdowns are scheduled for long weekends— holiday tourist crowds being nonetheless smaller than weekday rush hour crowds— so be extra wary of Metro around public holidays.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 6:53 pm
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Originally Posted by choster View Post
To clarify, Metro to Dulles will NOT open in 2013. Only the first phase of the project, to Wiehle Avenue (just past Tysons Corner), is expected to be finished in late 2013, and that is if nothing unexpected impedes progress. Phase 2 is only now completing preliminary engineering, and if all funding comes through and all goes well with construction would not open till 2016 at the earliest.

Car service or taxi is the easiest and fastest, but for those on a budget the options would be

Metro Red Line to Metro Center -> Metro Orange Line to West Falls Church -> Washington Flyer shuttle bus (http://www.washfly.com/ ) $2.75 + $10

Metro Red Line to Metro Center -> Metro Orange or Blue Line to Rosslyn -> Metrobus 5A (http://www.wmata.com/bus/timetables/dc/05a.pdf ) $1.60 + $6

(absolute cheapest but also far and away the longest)
Georgetown Circulator to M St & Wisconsin Ave NW -> Rosslyn Circulator to Rosslyn (or walk about a mile) -> Metrobus 5A $1 + $6

While it is true that weekend track work can add significant delays, it is usually announced ahead of time on th WMATA website. One thing to note: the most disruptive shutdowns are scheduled for long weekends— holiday tourist crowds being nonetheless smaller than weekday rush hour crowds— so be extra wary of Metro around public holidays.
I suspected that the full metro to Dulles wouldn't be opened next year

How long should a car service take from Union Station to IAD on a Sunday afternoon? Or is it just unpredictable?
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Old Jan 5, 12, 8:11 pm
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Figure about 50-70 minutes. There is some construction, but as long as it's not at a major point where they shut down lots of lanes, you'd be fine using that timeframe. Most of the shutdown work (overpass, girder lifting, etc) is complete for the moment.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by GoingAway View Post
Figure about 50-70 minutes. There is some construction, but as long as it's not at a major point where they shut down lots of lanes, you'd be fine using that timeframe. Most of the shutdown work (overpass, girder lifting, etc) is complete for the moment.
So for a 6:15pm flight leaving around 3:15 should be fine?
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Old Jan 5, 12, 9:41 pm
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Originally Posted by cityboy340 View Post
So for a 6:15pm flight leaving around 3:15 should be fine?
That should work, but i'd ask:

- checking luggage?
- international or domestic flight?
- what airline?
And
- acela or regional into union station?
- From where?

The first set for how much time you may need at the airport pre-flight, the latter for your chances of a delay with the train.
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Old Jan 5, 12, 11:19 pm
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Originally Posted by GoingAway View Post
That should work, but i'd ask:

- checking luggage?
- international or domestic flight?
- what airline?
And
- acela or regional into union station?
- From where?

The first set for how much time you may need at the airport pre-flight, the latter for your chances of a delay with the train.
Checked luggage yes the reason for a taxi vs the bus/metro. Domestic-United but I'm a premier gold or whatever the new thing is called.
I'm coming in on a regional from Baltimore but it's supposed to arrive around 2:50.
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Old Jan 6, 12, 4:46 am
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Originally Posted by cityboy340 View Post
Checked luggage yes the reason for a taxi vs the bus/metro. Domestic-United but I'm a premier gold or whatever the new thing is called.
I'm coming in on a regional from Baltimore but it's supposed to arrive around 2:50.
You should be okay. Enjoy.
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