Best way to get from BWI to a hotel in Arlington?
September 14, 2006 7:59 AM   Subscribe

Best way to get from BWI to a hotel in Arlington that is on the orange line?

I'll be arriving on a wednesday around 2pm with a messenger bag and a small suitcase with wheels. I used the wmata trip planner to plan a route and it looks like the recommended route is to take a bus from BWI to the metro station, and then have one transfer along the way. Is that do-able with the luggage I'll have? Is there another [easier/faster/butcheaperthana$75taxi] way?
posted by wearyaswater to Travel & Transportation around Arlington, VA (8 answers total)
Best answer: The bus from BWI to the greenbelt station is very easy: picks up at the end of the international termninal, lower level, and drops you off at the entrance to the station 30 minutes later. From there, it's an easy ride to L'Enfant Plaza. You can save 5-10 minutes by transfering to the red line for one stop, and transfering again at Metro Center, but with luggage, that's probably more hassle than it's worth. The most walking you'll have to do will be from the gate at BWI to the bus stop. But the B30-Green Line-Orange Line trip is totally do-able with a reasonable amount of luggage. (Assuming your hotel is right at the stop. Otherwise you'll have to hoof it however far that is.)
posted by Eldritch at 8:07 AM on September 14, 2006

I would try the BWI Amtrak/MARC train to Union Station, then the Red line to Metro Center, where you hop on the Orange line. Less time on the Metro. I don't have the Amtrak/MARC fares at hand, but your total fares will be significantly less than $75.
posted by flyingrock at 8:17 AM on September 14, 2006

Best answer: Cheaper, but not faster:

You could try the MARC train to the Metro, then the Metro to close to the hotel. At the airport there is a free shuttle from BWI to the MARC station outside of baggage claim. From there you'd take the train to New Carrollton to get on the orange line to Virginia. Find the MARC schedule here, look for the BWI Rail Station for departure (there is a 3:01 train). You can buy the ~$5 ticket at the station. The train is relaxing and the shuttle from the airport to the station will be the slowet part of the trip. By the time you get to the Metro you will be charged the "peak" fare, which is also about $5.
posted by peeedro at 8:37 AM on September 14, 2006

peedro's plan is what I've done before.
posted by inigo2 at 8:38 AM on September 14, 2006

I've done both suggested routes before, but never with anything more than a day pack. A rolling suitcase is not going to be fun on the Metro; the MARC is much better suited for it and should be easier.
Seconding peero's idea. Welcome to town.
posted by now i'm piste at 9:15 AM on September 14, 2006

Also, I don't know if it would be faster to take the MARC to Union Station, then transfer from Metro's red line to the orange at Metro Center (as flyingrock says); or if it's faster to get off at New Carrollton and take the orange line all the way out. I suggested New Carrollton because you're schlepping luggage (you're guaranteed a seat at that stop- not busy going into town at that time of day) and you get to avoid transferring between lines if you're not familiar with the Metro system (although it's not really that complicated). So taking MARC to either stop would work fine.

And the WMATA trip planner is good but not a definitive guide for getting around.
posted by peeedro at 9:26 AM on September 14, 2006

Foo, a small suitcase - particularly rolling - is no problem on the metro. It's a rare trip where I DON'T see someone coming from/to DCA on the metro, and between 2 and 4pm it won't even be peak awfulness.
posted by phearlez at 9:40 AM on September 14, 2006

I've done both options several times. Definitely okay with the suitcase, but I have to say, it's quite a drag. It usually took me about 2 hours from BWI to my apartment. The MARC is about $5, by the way, and I think if you take Amtrak it's more like $20. The MARC runs every hour, I believe, and Amtrak runs more frequently.

What I consider to be the medium option between the shuttle/train/metro option and the cab option is something like supershuttle. I think it's about $40 to NoVa. You have to wait a little before the bus leaves, and you may not be the first stop, but you'd get to your hotel easily and much quicker than the shuttle/train/bus option.
posted by Amizu at 10:38 AM on September 14, 2006

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