If you drive, you will likely need to be familiar with parking around the DC metro area. The three main options for parking are parking permits, parking meters, and parking garages.
DC provides residential parking permits to allow residents and their guests to park for more than the standard two-hour limit. Visit the District Department of Transportation’s website to find out more about visitor parking passes, residential parking permits, and short-term parking permits.
Parking meters are located throughout the DMV area to provide hourly, on-street parking for customers visiting retail and dining establishments. Information about DC’s parking meters, including rates and hours of operation, is available on the District Department of Transportation’s website. Some of the parking meters can be paid by credit card or by applications installed on your cellphone such as Parkmobile.
Hourly, daily, and monthly parking are available at parking garages throughout DC and surrounding cities. Parking garages rates are different among them – you may use the following tools to find the best rates:
The IMF has onsite parking service for staff, spouses, and other eligible employees working at the Headquarters buildings. Contact the Fund's Parking Office for details about requesting a parking spot.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) operates public rail and bus transportation systems within DC and many of the outlying suburbs.
SmarTrip and Fares
The Metro system uses a permanent, rechargeable card called a SmarTrip card to pay Metrorail, Metrobus, and the Circulator. Cards can be purchased online, or in-person at Metro sales offices, retail outlets, and computer stores. Find out more about how the SmarTrip card works at www.wmata.com/fares/smartrip. Learn more about fares at www.wmata.com/fares.
DC’s Metrorail is often referred to as “the metro”. It provides safe, clean, reliable transit service throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia areas. The system has six color-coded rail lines: Red, Orange, Silver, Blue, Yellow, and Green. Stations are marked with tall brown columns with a large “M” identifying the station entrance. Colored stripes around the column show which lines serve the station. Learn more at www.wmata.com/rail.
DC’s bus system provides clean and efficient bus service throughout the city and outlying suburbs. Stops are marked by red, white, and blue signposts. Learn more at www.wmata.com/bus
Bus service among popular neighborhoods in DC. Each bus stop is marked with a Circulator flag where you should wait for the bus to arrive. DC Circulator allows riders to bring bikes and scooters along for their ride. Visit www.dccirculator.com to find out more.
Information about DC taxicabs, such as fares and a list of companies, can be found on the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission’s website: dctaxi.dc.gov.
Car and Truck Rental
Don’t own a car but need one temporarily? Car and truck rental is available from several nation-wide rental companies throughout the DC metro area such as:
Truck rental is usually used for moving and transporting large-scale items.
Ridesharing and Carsharing
Ridesharing matches passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire that, unlike taxicabs, cannot legally be hailed from the street. It has quickly become a popular alternative to public transportation. Well-known companies are Uber and Lyft. Their services are used via a website or mobile application.
Carsharing is a model of car rental where people rent cars for short periods, often by the hour. They are attractive to customers who make only occasional use of a vehicle, as well as others who would like occasional access to a vehicle of a different type than they use day-to-day. Major carsharing companies include Zipcar, Car2Go, and EnterpriseCarShare.
Did you know? The IMF has an agreement with Zipcar to provide Fund staff with free memberships as well as access to Zipcars at a discounted rate. You can find more information on Zipcar membership for Fund staff.
The DMV area has taken new measures to encourage bicycle commuting and bicycle sharing. Check out a bike for your trip to work, Metro, run errands, go shopping, or visit friends and family.
Capital Bikeshare is metro DC's main bike-share service, with5,000 bikes and 600+ stations across 7 jurisdictions: Washington, DC.; Arlington, VA; Alexandria, VA; Montgomery, MD; Prince George's County, MD; Fairfax County, VA; and the City of Falls Church, VA. Designed for quick trips with convenience in mind, it’s a fun and affordable way to get around. Members can “check out” a bike at one of the hundreds of stations and return it to thesame or any other station. Capital Bikeshare has 24-hour, 3-day, 30-day, and annual membership plans. Learn more at www.capitalbikeshare.com.
Did you know? The IMF has a BikeShare Program that allows Fund employees to purchase ar educed-cost annual membership in the Capital BikeShare program. You can find more information on BikeShare membership for Fund staff.
Electric scooters have gotten popular in recent years as they are easy to drive and can help avoid traffic blocks. Due to their compact size, they can easily be parked in spaces where traditional cars don’t fit. The companies that currently run scooters in the area are Bird, Lime, Spin, Helbiz, Lyft, and Uber. Each company has a mobile application.