Once you've arrived in Fairfax County, there are a number of transportation options you can take advantage of during your Fairfax County vacations. Here are some tips on getting around.
Fairfax County is served by ten Metrorail stations located at West Falls Church, Merrifield/Dunn Loring, Vienna/Fairfax/GMU, Huntington, Franconia/Springfield, McLean, Spring Hill, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, and Wiehle-Reston East. Many of these stations also offer daily parking facilities and bicycle racks, though not all stations have parking. Metrorail expansion will continue with Phase 2, adding additional stops in Reston and Herndon, and will extend out to Washington Dulles International Airport. Phase 2 is scheduled for completion around 2018.
Please note: Starting in summer 2016, Metro will be conducting an extensive maintenance project that will cause multiple delays and disruptions. Please visit their website for specific information on how it may affect your travel plans.
Some helpful tips and tricks for using the Metrorail system:
- Metro charges two different rates for any given trip, depending on the time of day. "Peak SmarTrip Fares" are charged on weekdays from opening to 9:30am, and from 3:00-7:00pm, and on weekends from midnight until closing. All other times a lower rate is charged.
- You must purchase a SmarTrip card to use for each trip at all times of the day.
- The machines can only return a maximum of $10 in change, and it comes in all coins.
- To pass through the turnstile, locate a fare gate with a green/white arrow, not the red dash. SmarTrip holders need only to "scan" their card over the SmarTrip logo on the turnstiles. Note that you will need your card to exit, so keep it in a convenient location!
- When going up and/or down the escalators, stand to the right and walk to the left.
- As the train arrives, look at the color and destination on the front train car to ensure you board the correct train. (i.e. If you're heading to stops on the way to Vienna, make sure you're riding the Orange Line car that says "Vienna.")
- When preparing to board a metro train, let passengers leaving the train get off before you try to get on.
- SmarTrip cards are now required for Metro-operated parking areas. Sufficient funds must be on the card to pay the full cost for parking in order to exit or enter the parking facilities.
- Parking at Metro-operated lots is FREE on weekends and federal holidays.
- There is no food, beverage, or smoking allowed on Metro.
Where Will You Go Today? Whether you are connecting to Metro's Silver, Orange, Blue lines or Virginia Railway Express for work or play; taking a day trip to George Washington's Mount Vernon or the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-HazyCenter; staying local for world class shopping or dining in Tysons, Mosaic District, Reston Town Center, or Springfield Town Center; Fairfax Connector can help get you there! With more bus routes than ever before and more frequent service throughout Fairfax County, getting around has never been easier or more convenient. Our buses are clean and our friendly drivers get you where you need to go safely and efficiently. If you haven't tried Fairfax Connector lately, take a ride with us and discover how Fairfax Connector can keep you connected with work, home, family, and LIFE! Download your Connector Bus Route Map today!
Metrobus operates routes in many parts of Fairfax County including Annandale, Burke, Baileys Crossroads, Seven Corners, Tysons Corner, Alexandria, Fort Belvoir, and Springfield. You may catch Metrobus at any Metrorail station or at any of the Metrobus bus stop signs along the route. Almost all Metrobus routes connect with Metrorail stations. Metrobus provides more than 400,000 trips each weekday serving 11,500 bus stops in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. Metrobus is the sixth busiest bus agency in the United States, with a fleet of more than 1,500 buses operating on 325 routes.
Most visitors do use their cars while visiting the region, and it is the easiest way to get around. Visitors can utilize four major interstates in the County. Interstates 66, 95, 395, and 495 all run through Fairfax County and are the main transportation arteries in which many people arrive here and continue to get around.
Interstate 495 - commonly referred to as the Capital Beltway - wraps around Washington D.C. and runs through Fairfax County, other portions of Northern Virginia and Maryland. To help make your trip more predictable, and faster during rush hours, you can use the new 495 Express Lanes. The 495 Express Lanes are tolled lanes that operate alongside the regular lanes on the Virginia side of I-495. All drivers need an E-ZPass to use the Express Lanes. More information is available on the 495 Express Lanes website.
Yes, we all know that Washington, DC has a reputation for traffic, so in order to bypass rush hour, avoid the major roadways between 7am-9am and 4pm-7pm on weekdays.
Fairfax County is a bike-friendly destination! In fact, it's one of the best ways to experience the County. Travel at a speed that allows you to appreciate sights you may have passed many times sitting in a car but never really noticed. When was the last time you were able to stop and read a historical marker? There are 56 in Fairfax County. On a bike it's quite easy to stop and spend a minute reading up on local historical events. Explore quiet, tree-lined streets and trails using Fairfax County's excellent interactive map of biking routes. Paper copies of a biking map are also available from many local bicycle stores. For a great resource on bicycling in Fairfax County, check out the group Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling's website.
Airport and Hotel Shuttles:
Each of the three airports surrounding Fairfax County - Washington Dulles International, Ronald Reagan National, and Baltimore/Washington International - have shuttles and ground transportation options to get you here, and many of the hotels in the County have complimentary shuttles to get you around town. Check out our hotels page for details on if your hotel has a shuttle.
Fairfax County has a handful of authorized taxi cab services. Here's a link for more information: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/consumer/regulation_and_licensing/taxicab-information.htm.
Another wonderful perk of Fairfax County is the abundance of free parking!