The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, WMATA commonly referred to as “The metro,” is, generally speaking, a well-run public transportation system.
Germantown residents might be confused by the plethora of bus routes and be overwhelmed when trying to get to MetroRail stop “Shady Grove.”
When a customer, or rider, becomes experienced with the usage and methodology of the metro, it is an enjoyable experience to commute on.
Getting to that knowledgeable level is sometimes difficult. WMATA makes efforts to explain both the rail and bus routes and schedules, but the sheer magnitude of routes makes that increasingly difficult to simplify.
When in doubt, go to their homepage: http://www.wmata.com/. There are links for both the rail and bus routes, but the bus map initially doesn’t show northwest of Shady Grove.
Maps are more difficult to find than most residents would like, and going to the station to ask is little better. There is a stand where each bus route and schedule is supposed to have a pamphlet that riders can take. This is almost always empty or in a state of dishevelment.
Asking employees will get you an educated answer with directions, but most riders dislike asking questions repeatedly about something that should be easy to figure out.
Simply standing by a MetroBus stop in Germantown will get riders onto a route that takes them to at least one of two major station: Shady Grove or the Germantown Transit Center. Riders trying to get to Shady Grove via MetroBus need to ensure that they get on the bus going in the correct direction or they may find themselves at the Transit Center.
If a rider can find their way to the Transit Center, there is an express bus that takes approximately 10-15 minutes to get to Shady Grove.
Riders commuting via MetroBus should add at least an hour to their commute time, as buses do not travel as quickly as residents driving directly to Shady Grove.
If all of this information sounds confusing, that’s because it is. Only through repeated commuting will riders become experienced enough to navigate the system with confidence.
Until then, riders should always do their homework regarding the metro, and add a significant amount of time to their commute to ensure that they arrive where they want to, when they want to.