The Georgetown Bubble is a real phenomenon. This term refers to how students at Georgetown University seldom find the need to travel outside of our beautiful campus and bustling M Street. Perhaps the monuments are the furthest we’re willing to run (or walk to). It also doesn’t help that the nearest metro stop is in Rosslyn, Virginia, which is about a twenty minute walk away from the front gates.
Let’s face it — Washington, D.C. is an expensive city to live in, and as one of its wealthiest neighborhoods in the area, Georgetown is no different. So how can Hoyas save money when they want to explore D.C. or travel outside the bubble?
Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle (GUTS) provides free bus rides for students to Dupont Circle, the Georgetown University Law Center, Wisconsin Ave and Rosslyn and Arlington, Virginia. The GUTS buses are extremely convenient on weekdays, but they run less often on the weekends. There are late night shuttles from 10 PM to 3 AM to Burleith, West Georgetown, M Street on weekend nights, including Thursday. Shuttles to Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle at that time run on Fridays and Saturdays. The shuttles are located at the bus turnaround near the McDonough Gymnasium, and you can check bus schedules and drop off areas on the GU mobile app or their website, as the late night shuttles may differ..
From Georgetown, the closest metro stops you can access are located at the Dupont Circle and Rosslyn GUTS bus stops. In D.C., you are charged based on the distance you travel, so the farther you go, the more expensive your trip, but trips usually only amount to a few dollars. Metro stations have guides that outline pricing, so you can easily figure out how much you’ll be charged beforehand. If you live in D.C., you should buy a refillable SmarTrip card, which you will use to pay for rides on the metro. You can refill your SmarTrip card online, and you can purchase one at a local CVS or metro station. The metro is organized by five colored lines that provide transportation to different areas in D.C., and it isn’t too difficult to figure out once you’ve used it a few times.
The DC Circulator
Using the Circulator bus is another great way to travel. Trips only cost $1, no matter where you are travelling, and you can also use your SmarTrip card to pay. Circulator buses typically stop at designated stations every ten minutes, and you can check their schedules on their website online. There are six different routes in D.C. and two of them stop on M street, taking residents to Dupont and Rosslyn. You won’t be charged if you change buses within two hours, and it is only an additional fifty cents if you transfer from the metro within two hours. Theses buses are extremely convenient and cheap, but travelling does take a bit longer.
Uber or Lyft
Georgetown residents know that Uber or Lyft’s ride-sharing services are a must. These apps allow you to request a personal driver and process your payment via your phone. If you haven’t downloaded either app yet, you should ask a friend to refer a code to you so you can both receive promotional benefits (Uber usually offers one free ride up to $10 for both people while Lyft offers five free rides up to $10, but the offer expires more quickly). Riding in an Uber or a Lyft by yourself can be pricey, especially if you do so during popular hours, such as weekend nights, or if you travel a far distance.
However, if you’re travelling with a group, you can split the cost among your friends using the app, which makes the ride much more affordable. You can also opt to share your ride when you request one, which allows your driver to pick up other riders along your route. Many times your driver will not receive requests from others along the way, and you still get to benefit from the cheaper price. Uber and Lyft are popular transportation choices among Georgetown students since you don’t have to figure out bus schedules or metro stops.
Regardless of how you choose to travel, creating and sticking to a budget is important, especially in college! D.C. has so many cool places to explore, and there are plenty of ways to do so without breaking the bank. Happy adventuring!
Disclaimer: Nina Cheng is a contributing writer for ValuePenguin.com
Main Image Credit: What’s Mapnin’