Before we left home I did some research on public transport in Washington DC and found that they operate a card system which is very similar to the GoCard which we have in Brisbane. The cards can be ordered online but unfortunately they cannot be ordered from overseas so we had to wait until we arrived. Apparently they will be available for purchase from all Metro stations in September but in the meantime it is only selected stations and all CVS branded pharmacies.
We caught a taxi from the airport to our accommodation on Monday evening so on Tuesday morning we headed to Columbia Heights and bought our cards and have proceeded to ride the Metro rail system to various points of DC and Virginiaover the next few days. The lines are colour-coded and have several points where you can connect from one line to another.Here at L’Enfant station you can change from the green and yellow lines which run predominately north/south to the blue and orange lines which run east/west.
Other than our initial taxi ride and a short taxi ride home this evening after dinner, the Metro has been our only source of transport (along with our own legs). It has cost us a little over $20 each to get around for 3 full days and getting to Union Station tomorrow, so excellent value. You can buy individual farecards, however the cost is an additional $1 per trip so the $5 cost for the SmarTrip cards was definitely well worth it. It is also much more convenient than trying to find money to buy a ticket each time. Topping up the SmarTrip cards is easy and there are machines at the foyer of every station.