Riding the Bus in D.C.: 4 Tips on How To Master the Metro

Since getting a temp job last Tuesday, I’ve been doing a serious dance with the WMATA bus system. I’m lucky to ride a bus that has three routes that go to the same place, but it’s my connecting bus that comes every thirty minutes. Today, I give you the story of The Break Down.

As I made my way to bus #2, bus #1 broke down on the corner.

Other passengers jumped ship and walked down the street, but not before asking the driver if there was another bus coming soon. I waited outside, sipped my ice cold latte and watched the bus driver work it out [he pushed some buttons, called headquarters on his phone and reported the malfunction]. He apologized about the inconvenience it might have caused and made a remark about how other people got upset at him, like it was his fault.


Bus operators have little control over faulty machinery. I told him it wasn’t a problem, becuase it wasn’t. But what a story he would have for his co-workers and friends. A story that inspired me to write this blog.

Here are my 4 tips on how you can master the Metro:

1. Always arrive to your bus stop early. It will really help if said bus breaks down on your way to bus #2.

2. The bus schedule is merely a suggestion. Check your phone app for approximate times. Go here for androids and here for smartphones. If you don’t have either, ask someone.

3. Whenever it rains or snows in the District, know that the city is temporarily going bananas until it can return to normal. Accept that your ride time will be significantly longer.

4. Be Smart. Always Get a Head Start. 

Do you have a WMATA story to share? If so, comment below. It’d be great to hear how others make WMATA work for their morning/afternoon commute.


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