Washington, DC-area transportation (specifically to/from Wolf Trap)

Hey folks,
I’m traveling to Washington, DC on Wednesday for a vacation. Most of what I want to do is in the city proper, so I’ll be staying near Dupont Circle. However, I’m going to a concert at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts on Thursday night. (It’s the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses concert, if you’re curious.) I haven’t been to DC in years, and this will be my first time going to Wolf Trap. I have a few questions:

  1. Do taxis generally hang out at the Virginia stations on the Orange Line? Can I flag down a taxi as soon as I get off the Metro or will I have to call a cab company to get a taxi?

  2. Has anyone here actually taken the Wolf Trap Express shuttle that apparently runs from the West Falls Church Metro station to Wolf Trap on concert nights? If you have, can you tell me about it (what it looks like, how long does it take, etc.)?

  3. I don’t suppose there’s a cab stand at Wolf Trap, is there? The last Wolf Trap Express is supposed to leave the Filene Center at 11 pm. The concert I’m attending starts at 8:30 pm, but I don’t know when it’s scheduled to end. In case the concert runs past 11, I’d like to know if it would be feasible to call a cab to pick me up from Wolf Trap.

Thanks for your help.

There is a taxi stand on the northern side of Vienna Metro.

DC-area local here. I’ve never taken the shuttle, but you could contact the company that runs it and find out what the policy is if the performance doesn’t end in time.

The limiting factor may be the time the last train leaves the station - if your performance ends at 11:15, the bus leaves at 11:30, you get to the metro at 12:02 - and the last eastbound train left at 11:55, you’re out of luck (though of course then you could catch a cab from the station). The WMATA website should have info about last scheduled departures at the various stations.

There should be cabs at the Metro station, in fact I’ve gotten snark when I’ve tried to call for one (because there weren’t any there). If you’re worried about the Wolftrap end of things, you could look up a couple of local cab companies and have their numbers handy.

First, this:

NERD!

I wouldn’t depend on a taxi from Wolf Trap after the concert. I don’t think I’ve ever seen taxis hanging out there, and there’s a huge parking area, so I wouldn’t even know where to look for them. The shuttle is almost certainly your best bet if you don’t have access to your own wheels. It is paid for by the Park, so you have to figure they have a lot of incentive to make it workable.

You might also look in to renting a ZipCar, the short-term rental cars people use for getting around town when public transportation isn’t convenient. I have no idea how much they are, but I’m sure you could find out on the web.

–Cliffy

I happened to look into this recently. $90/year to sign up and something like $3/hour for a rental (up to ~$80/day), depending on the type of vehicle.

The Fairfax Connector Web site says that “Return trips depart Wolf Trap Filene Center 20 minutes after the performance ends, but no later than 11 p.m.”

Classical music concerts generally last for at least 1.5 hours, but are usually shorter than 3 hours. It’s the uncertain amount of time in between that worries me. Will the concert be just 2 hours, or will it go for 2.5 hours with an intermission and I’ll have to leave early to make the last shuttle?

I thought I might have to do this. I’m prepared to take a cab all the way back to Dupont Circle if necessary. Just wasn’t sure if cabs would go inside Wolf Trap and pick up passengers there, though.

Heh. I’m not as nerdy as many people I know, but I’m willing to travel for video game music concerts.

I went to the Zelda concert that was held in Los Angeles in October 2011. That concert had an intermission, but I wasn’t worried about transportation since my friend was driving us. I hope the Wolf Trap concert won’t have an intermission, but that seems unlikely. Gotta sell merchandise and let people use the bathroom…

So it seems like getting TO Wolf Trap won’t be that much of an issue; if the shuttle turns out to be illusory, I can still catch a cab from the Metro. As for getting back to my hotel, I guess I’ll just have to grit my teeth and leave the concert hall early to get the last shuttle, and have some cab company phone numbers handy in case.

Here’s the major company in Northern Virginia.

If you have a friend in the city with a Zipcar account then that would be your best choice. Zipcar has a deal that allows you to use a car from Thursday 6pm - 8:30am the next day, for $36.00+tax (usually adds up to $42.90). This would be cheaper than a taxi and allows you peace of mind if you’re worried about using public transportation.

Barring that, and if you’re not confident of the shuttle and metro combination, you could download and use the TaxiMagic.com app or website to schedule a taxi to pick you up from WolfTrap.