An 18-year Metro exile ended

Nobody believes me when I admit not riding Washington’s metro (subway to non-locals) in 18 years. Not since Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration.

Until the other day, that is.

I’ve ridden subways around the world, even one in Osaka, Japan, but when it comes to Washington I’ve always driven. I’m not afraid of traffic or parking. But, most of all, the metro wasn’t near the southern Maryland area where I live for many years. Even now the Branch Ave. station is just on the edge of town. It’s not that much farther just to keep going into town.

But, since I’m now a tour guide I figured tourists would ask me about the metro so I needed to ride it once more. My wife, who rides it daily, humored me with a tour of the underground world.

In fact, I received a metro pass card in my Christmas stocking. My wife taught me how to add money to it at the machines and pass through the turnstyles, which anyone over the age of 6 can learn in one try.

But, figuring out which train to take was a little challenging at first. Which way was I going? I’m normally pretty good at directions, but it took a moment. I can only imagine tourists not knowing either end being confused.

We rode two stops from Union Station to Chinatown, jumped off for dinner and then rode back. It wasn’t meant to be a day-long lesson, just a quick re-acquaintance. I rode the metro briefly in the late 1980s when living near the New Carrollton station.

If metro even comes to Waldorf, I’ll gladly ride. But, I probably only have another 20 years in me so I doubt that day ever comes in my lifetime. Until then, I’ll just keep quarters in my car for downtown meters.

About Rick

Rick Snider is a native Washingtonian, long-time journalist and licensed tour guide since 2010.
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4 Responses to An 18-year Metro exile ended

  1. Megan says:

    Glad you finally got to use your SmarTrip card! I’ve put mine to use twice in the past month or so. It’s a quick, easy way to get around town, but you have a big brain teeming with the city’s layout… it’s always good when you can drive us instead. 🙂

  2. Hogs Haven says:

    I dare you to take Metro to a Redskins home game next year. Only an hour out of the way but well worth the, um, experience. Maybe that can be our Joey Galloway bet for 2011….loser takes Metro.

  3. Rick says:

    The one problem with taking the metro to Redskins games is the station is about one mile from the stadium. It’s a nice, safe walk to the stadium, but a bear in bad weather. I say loser of next year’s best has to walk backwards from the station to the stadium wearing a Cowboys jersey.

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