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Parking options near the McLean Metro Station.

Parking options near the McLean Metro Station.

WMATA
MetroCar

Will I Get a Spot? Don’t Forget About Parking When Adjusting Your Commute

BY TIM LEMKE

Metro’s ongoing capital improvement work has left many commuters looking for alternative ways to get in and out of the District each day.

The latest wrinkle is on the Red Line, where there is no service between Fort Totten and Silver Spring through Dec. 10.

For Metro riders, changes like these often involve finding a different Metro station to serve as their public transit starting point. But that can depend on the availability of parking, which is not always plentiful at every location. And there are few things worse than showing up at a station to find the lot at capacity.

Fortunately, Metro does publish information on parking capacity, offering insight into which locations fill up with cars the most quickly. This information is particularly helpful for those commuters who head into the city later in the day. It’s worth noting that this information was evaluated prior to SafeTrack work in June 2016. Also, some stations have adjacent lots and garages that are not operated by Metro.

DON’T TRY IT

According to Metro, here are the stations that are usually at capacity by the end of the morning rush.

RED LINE

  • Forest Glen
  • Fort Totten
  • Rockville
  • Rhode Island Avenue
  • Grosvenor/Strathmore

BLUE LINE

  • Van Dorn

ORANGE LINE

  • Minnesota Avenue

GREEN LINE

  • Naylor Road

LIVING ON THE EDGE

The following locations are routinely left with fewer than 200 spaces, meaning that heading there to park could be a roll of the dice.

RED LINE

  • White Flint

GREEN LINE

  • West Hyattsville
  • Branch Avenue

BLUE LINE

  • Morgan Boulevard
  • Capitol Heights

SILVER LINE

  • Wiehle/Reston East

ORANGE LINE

  • Deanwood
  • Cheverly

GO FOR IT

These stations are blessed with large garages or surface lots and usually have hundreds of spots remaining during the day, according to Metro.

RED LINE

  • Glenmont
  • Wheaton
  • Shady Grove
  • Twinbrook

GREEN LINE

  • Greenbelt
  • College Park
  • Prince George’s Plaza
  • Southern Avenue
  • Suitland

BLUE LINE

  • Largo Town Center
  • Addison Road
  • Franconia-Springfield

SILVER LINE

  • Wiehle/Reston East

ORANGE LINE

  • New Carrollton
  • Landover
  • Vienna
  • Dunn Loring
  • West Falls Church

YELLOW LINE

  • Huntington

WATCH YOUR PENNIES

Parking at Metro stations isn’t free during the week, and rates do vary. It’s important to take this into account when you need to adjust your commute. Consider, for example, that it costs $5.20 to park at Greenbelt, while Fort Totten is $4.70.

WHAT TO DO NOW

Current Metro trackwork is impacting Red Line riders the most. Those riders who normally head into the District starting at Glenmont, Silver Spring or Wheaton now must find alternative ways to get into the city at least until Dec. 10.

Riders who still want to use Metro and don’t want to gamble with parking availability will be best off heading over to the Green Line and parking at College Park, Greenbelt, or Prince George’s Plaza. Or, they can still use the green line and rely on shuttle service between Silver Spring and Fort Totten.

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