My first experience with Metro was in the late 70s, when my grandparents lived in Arlington, VA. The first ride I remember was getting on the Blue line at Rosslyn and riding over to Smithsonian to go to my favorite museum, Air and Space. Several years later, I remember parking at East Falls Church, which wasn’t open for train service yet, and getting on at Ballston to do more or less the same trip.
The DC Streetcar project has been an ongoing boondoggle for a long time, but it may finally be coming to something close to an end. The system will open for business on February 27, or at least something close to “for business.” In what appears to be a rush to get the streetcar running before some arbitrary date, a few unfortunate choices have been made. The car barn at Spingarn High School isn’t ready.
Getting tickets for MARC is a fairly confusing process. There are various ways to get a ticket, all of which have their own idiosyncracies about them: (Update: MARC fixed things in 2018. See the Postpostscript.) At stations that have them, you can buy tickets from Amtrak ticket machines. This includes not only the stations that are also Amtrak stations (Union Station, New Carrollton, Penn Station, Rockville, etc.) but also some other stations that are not served by Amtrak (Camden Yards, Savage, etc.