DC Metro Challenge

When you've completed your attempt, you can tattoo your SmarTrip for extra street cred.

Seeking your place among the DC transit elite? Here’s what you need to know:

Challenge criteria

There are a few different variations of this challenge in the transit enthusiast world. When you consider Metrorail’s relatively low overlap among lines, lack of pedestrian tunnels connecting stations, and absence of express trains, the Class B attempt is the best fit. Completing a Class B challenge is pretty straightforward.

You must travel to each of the 86 stations in the Metrorail system at least once, without exiting the Metrorail system. Your train must stop to load and unload passengers at a station to count it as a stop – however you are not required to exit the train. You can start and end your journey at any station, and can take any route through the system.

That’s all there is to it. The only other requirement is a practical one – you must use a SmarTrip card to enter and exit the system. By using SmarTrip, your entry and exit times are recorded electronically and can be later verified by WMATA.

The standing record’s pretty good – why bother trying to beat it?

Because the standing record was hindered by serious setbacks! When I made my attempt, I was slowed down by a disabled train and scheduled maintenance – problems that you could have enough luck / foresight to avoid.

I also limited myself to starting at Shady Grove, but there are eight other stations you could start from. I also did not take advantage of the “Farragut Crossing” between Farragut North and Farragut West, or the new Rush+ scheduling. An ambitious attempt would consider both of these options to speed up their journey.

Planning your attempt

If you decide to make an attempt, please let me know! Use the Contact page to get in touch with me, and we can work together to publicize your attempt. If you determine your route ahead of time, I would love to feature it here on this site before you start. If you plan on live-Tweeting your progress (like I did), then I want to publicize your attempt as it happens. At a minimum, I would work with you to write a blog post about your attempt after it’s completed – and verify your SmarTrip times with WMATA.

It’s also important to note that we can release as much or as little personal information about you as you want. How public you are about your attempt is totally up to you!

And who knows? Maybe after all that you’ll get that handshake from Richard Sarles I’m still waiting on.

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