In reality, Metro, our much maligned public transit system in the District of Columbia does an OK job of getting us where we need to go. I use it everyday to get to work, and in truth, Metro rarely lets me down, even if it is over-crowded at times.
I’ve known about the option of taking Metro to BWI for sometime, but I’ve never used it. I told myself that I spend enough time on Metro, why spend more? But yesterday, Friday evening rush-hour no less, I decided to take one for the team and give it a shot.
Several days ago, I booked a 9PM Southwest flight from BWI to Raleigh/Durham (RDU). Reagan National (DCA) is far more convenient for me, but the price wasn’t justifiable for this trip. If you have to spend $30 to $40 dollars getting to and from BWI, DCA becomes more viable. But you don’t have to do that if you use Metro’s Green Line train to get to Greenbelt station and connect to the B30 Metrobus which then takes you nonstop to BWI.
I boarded Metrorail by my office in the Washington Navy Yard at 5:15PM and arrived at Greenbelt Metro station about 40 minutes later. I then connected to the 6:00PM B30 bus to BWI Airport. The bus was crowded, but I was able to get a seat. Some others were not as lucky. It is equipped with luggage racks and the seats are pretty comfortable. We departed right on time. Getting out of the Metro parking area seemed to take longer than anything else. It was the middle of rush-hour, and traffic wasn’t speedy, but certainly not stuck. Nonetheless, Metro’s advertised 33 minute travel time to BWI seemed pretty close, as we arrived at BWI only 2 minutes behind schedule. The bus makes two stops at BWI, Terminal A/B for Southwest and other airlines, and an additional stop that serves the International Terminal.
A short walk to the terminal, up the escalator, and I was in the short TSA line. At 6:45PM, I was having my first glass of wine at Phillips Seafood along with their Signature Crab Cake. Yes, you should try it when flying from BWI. Total cost for the trip was $6.50 using my Metro SmarTrip Card (R). Paying cash, the cost is $7.10. Metro has a pretty good website which you can use to plan your trip and determine your expected costs depending on which Metro station you are traveling to or from.
I would not recommend the train/bus/plane connection for those traveling with a plethora of small children and accompanying child care apparatus like Volkswagen-sized strollers unless you are mighty patient. But this was a pretty easy trip for a solo traveler, or a couple getting away for the weekend with light luggage. I will use this option again. Give it a try next time you need to get to get to or from DC from BWI. The price is right and the trip was easy.