Flew in via Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA), which is nearest downtown DC. There is also Dulles Airport but is farther.
From DCA, one has different travel options to downtown. The Metro, DC’s transport system, Shuttle buses and taxis.
Prior to our trip, taking a cab was favored and most recommended. The advantages being, it would take us directly to our destination and not be walking to it in case, it was not on the Metro’s route. With luggages in tow, that indeed was not a realistic choice even if it was cheaper.
At the airport, I asked one of DCA’s uniformed staff and was recommended to take a cab instead.
Since I had read up on DC’s cab system and how the fare is based on zones and other incidentals (additional charges for the 2nd passenger, extra luggage, etc.), and having a ballpark figure of how much it would cost me and my husband, we took the cab.
Tip: DC.gov Taxi Calculator is a good way to get an idea of cab fare
I had also read on many sites that it is a MUST to have the cabbie give you a receipt with his name, cab # and fare amount as, like anywhere else, there are some rogue cab drivers that may take advantage of none area residents.
Just outside the airport terminal are taxi stand manned by DCA staff. It was late Friday afternoon when we arrived (around 5pm), and there was no wait time nor line, so it was a breeze.
Prior to boarding the cab, the uniformed DCA staff manning the taxi passenger pick-up stand handed me a leaf of paper. From all the readings and info I had read, I had expected that they would somehow give us a sheet with the computed rate as they had asked for our destination prior to heralding us to the cab. However, it was just a DC Taxi Zone guide, which, for first timers like us, made no sense at all just by looking at it.
It took less than 10 minutes to take us from DCA to the our hotel, the St. Gregory Hotel and Suites on M and 20th NW. (Pls. refer to separate journal on review for this hotel.)
Contrary to the ballpark figure I had in terms of cab fare, we were very happy with the $ 11.60 we were charged (WITH receipt) and not $ 20 as we had expected/calculated.