For students who are new to the DC area or are thinking about transportation issues while deciding on a school, this is for you. DC is a busy place. More than a million people live, work, visit, and go to school here every day. So, how do you get to DC and how do you find your way around? Here’s a blog that might help you.
While in DC:
DC has a wonderful and intricate transportation system. Metro is the probably the best in-district method for getting around the city. The subway (Metro) can be used to get to school, restaurants, museums, church, and most any other places you want to go (see www.wmata.com ). There is also the Circulator Bus that makes several loops around DC and only costs $1 for each ride, which is cheaper than the city bus (http://www.dccirculator.com/index.html ).
Getting to DC:
To get to DC, there are three airports that are the most accessible. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is accessible to Metro on the yellow and blue lines (less than $5).
Baltimore Washington International Airport is also easily accessible to DC. Once at BWI, you can take an airport bus to the MARC train station then take a MARC train to Union Station on the Metro red line (about $6). However, the MARC only operates on weekdays (see http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/marc/ ). If you do not want or cannot take take MARC, you can take the Super Shuttle directly to campus for about $37 not including tip (see http://www.supershuttle.com/default.aspx ).
To get from Dulles International Airport to DC, there are a few options. You can 1) take Metrobus from the airport to the Metro stops at Rosslyn (Blue or Orange line) or L’Enfant Plaza (Yellow or Green line) (about $4-$6) or 2) take Washington Flyer Coach from the airport to Metro’s West Falls Church on the Orange line for about $13-$21, depending on whether you get a one-way or two-way ticket (see http://www.washfly.com/flyer_bus_schedule.htm ).
Getting to Gallaudet University:
To get to Gallaudet once you are in DC, you can take Metrorail (subway) to the Union Station or New York Ave./Florida Ave./Gallaudet stop and get on the Gallaudet shuttle, which takes you to Gallaudet (all week) and KDES and MMSD (weekdays). The Gallaudet Shuttle is free of charge (see http://www.gallaudet.edu/af/transportation_shuttlebusservices.xml ). You can also take a taxi from Union Station to Gallaudet for about $8-$15, depending on the time, traffic, and luggage.
If you plan to attend Gallaudet University and you are not sure whether to bring your own vehicle, then here are some issues you might want to consider to make your decision easier. As always, there are pros and cons to having a car in DC. If you have your own car, you can take weekend roadtrips to surrounding states, get to church and a grocery store easier, transport your heavy items from the store to your room easier, and not be constrained to the limited time schedule offered by the university shuttle service and Metro.
However, parking is expensive and limited. It costs almost the same amount to park your car legally on-campus or elsewhere as it does to pay parking tickets every day that your car is parked illegally. In DC, you cannot repeal traffic tickets. Traffic makes driving on the roads take more time than taking Metro, especially during peak or rush hours. Gas is more expensive in DC and stations are hard to come by in the downtown area.
A possibly cheaper route to go might be to take public transportation during the week and if you want to run to the store or take an out-of-town trip to Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home) or Annapolis (a cute, historic riverside town that is great for shopping and relaxing) for example, then look into other rental options such as Zip Car that costs about $10 an hour or about $70 a day and split the cost with friends who tag along (see http://www.zipcar.com/?redirect_p=0 ).