Washington is infamous for its congested traffic that is caused by the large commuting work force. The amount of time it takes to get to and from your workplace is dependent upon where you live and the time you choose to be on the road. Sometimes even a five-minute variance in your departure time from home can result in an increase or decrease of 15 to 30 minutes in your travel time to work. Many people will leave for work early just to avoid the increased possibility of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority provides bus and subway service throughout the metropolitan area. Call (202) 637-7000 for more information about fares, schedules and how to get around. Commuter trains and smaller bus lines are also part of the local transportation mix.
As a consequence of the amount of traffic congestion, it is highly recommended that you consider using mass transit or joining a car/van pool. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments provides car pool information free of charge.
Many freeways and heavily traveled roads in the area provide High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes for those who take advantage of car pools during commuter times. Heavy fines, however, are given to those using HOV lanes that do not comply with the rules.
While waiting for a Metrobus, especially in the suburbs and at the Pentagon, drivers of POV's may stop and offer you a ride to a specific area so they can take advantage of the HOV lanes during the specified hours. This is called "Slugging." You can't always count on it, but it is a way of saving transportation costs.
If you elect to use public transportation to commute to and from work, you may be eligible for a $100 a month stipend from the government.