Owning and operating a mid-sized car averaging 15,000 miles per year costs $8,104. Sharing the cost with two other people by carpooling could save up to $450 per month.
The District has more than 17,000 on-street metered parking spaces.
Roughly 40% of DC residents drive to work. The District aims to reduce that number to 25% by 2030.
Since 2004, the percentage of regionwide commuters driving alone to work declined at least 10 percent—from 71 percent to 61 percent.
Commuter Connections has a ridesharing database that includes a network of more than 18,000 registered commuters who are looking to find a carpool.
Always signal your intentions and yield to pedestrians and cyclists, especially when making a turn or opening your door. Remember to keep a 3 foot distance between your car and cyclists.
Your two best bets for parking in DC are parking garages and metered street parking. Check parking availability ahead of your trip to avoid circling the block and wasting fuel.
BLOCK BY BLOCK
Did you know? DC’s streets are centered around the Capitol Building. Numbered streets run East and West, while lettered streets run North and South. That means every address has four possible locations: in NE, NW, SE or SW.SEE THE MAP
Carsharing provides the independence of a car when you need it without the commitment and expenses of car ownership, like gas, monthly parking and insurance.
In the District there are three companies that provide carsharing service: car2go, Zipcar and Enterprise CarShare. These companies make fleets of vehicles available to be checked out and shared by the public, in the same way that libraries make books available to be shared by members. Cars are picked up at designated locations and then—depending on the carsharing service provider—returned to the same location or dropped off near a driver’s destination.
When commuters share a ride in the same general direction, they are ridesharing. Participants may either begin and end the trip together, or take detours to pick up or drop off a passenger along the way. Slugging, carpooling and vanpooling are all forms of ridesharing. Providers like Lyft Line and uberPOOL offer on-demand ridehailing services that allow you to share a car with others who are going the same way.
Slugging is an easy, informal way to carpool and take advantage of I-395/I-95 and I-66 HOV lanes between Northern Virginia and Washington, DC. Participants (“slugs”) wait in line at designated pick-up locations to catch a carpool to a drop-off point. Both parties benefit—passengers get a free ride and drivers gain access to high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
The DC metro area has over 30 slug line locations. Explore pick-up/drop-off locations and plan your commute on the goDCgo Transit Map.
Carpooling is when two or more people drive together (share the same vehicle) to get to work. Carpools usually consist of individuals who live near each other and are employees of the same company (or are employees of different companies located only a short distance apart) and have the same work hours. Sometimes,carpoolers use personal vehicles to take turns driving.
Need help finding other carpoolers? The Commuter Connections Ridematching Service connects people interested in carpooling with each other for free. Some employers also help to organize carpools and provide incentives for carpooling.
Vanpools are similar to carpools but, instead of personal vehicles, they use full-size vans or minivans that are provided and organized by a third party company (like VRide or Enterprise Rideshare). Vanpools carry between 7-15 passengers, usually commuting to the same location from a distance farther than 15 miles.
Vanpoolers normally pay their share of the cost with pre-tax commuter benefits. Learn more on our commuter page.
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Navigating traffic in the District can be challenging. Use these maps, apps, websites and tools to find parking and connections to area transit:
A free service for connecting commuters, cross country travelers and people running quick errands
Plan your trip ahead of time with goDCgo’s Transit Map – find parking lots near area transit
Share the ride with others going the same way, and pay up to 60% less
Quickly find and reserve parking in DC, particularly convenient when going to events or visiting
Pay for metered parking with the tap of a finger – Get parking session expiration warnings and more
Discover slugging locations near you and request a slug pickup – Enjoy a forum where users discuss all things slugging
Ride 24 hours a day, 7 days a week anywhere in Washington, DC. Ride from just $2.95.
Share your ride and split the cost of your trip with another Uber rider headed in the same direction
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) provides a number of services, such as parking permits and a pay-by-phone parking to ease the challenge of finding a spot in the city.
There are 17,000 on-street metered spaces throughout the District of Columbia. Generally, the meters run from 7am-6:30pm Monday through Saturday; Although, in some areas where there is a high demand, they run until 10pm.
Metered parking costs $2.30 an hour citywide and requires payment by coins, at the kiosk or by cell phone through Parkmobile.
BROKEN PARKING METER?
If you come across a broken parking meter, please notify DDOT by calling the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center at 311.
Parking garages in the District are privately owned and, therefore, not managed by DDOT. Most offer both daily and monthly parking. Find cheap and convenient parking with the following tools:
The Residential Permit Parking (RPP) program ensures zoned on-street parking for residents living on designated blocks.
Parking is limited to two hours during the hours of operation for vehicles without the appropriate zone RPP sticker.
The Visitor Parking Pass (VPP) program allows guests of District residents to park for more than two hours on Residential Permit Parking or RPP-zoned blocks.
Only certain Wards are eligible for the program and passes are only valid in the same RPP zone as the host’s residence.
The District has several programs intended to make parking more accessible to people with disabilities. These include reserved on-street parking, ADA accessible meters and spaces, and disability parking permits and tags.
Learn more and download application forms at DDOT’s website.