As DC’s Silver Line extends, Georgetown students finally have an easier route to an international airport

November 21, 2022

Illustration by Deborah Han

The DC Metro’s Silver Line fully re-opened Nov. 15, adding a new extension to Washington Dulles International Airport. It will likely make international travel easier for Georgetown students.  

The Silver Line is expected to run approximately every 15 minutes, and there are plans to lower this to 12 minutes by December 27, according to a memo released by Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) on Nov. 3.

According to WMATA, it is a direct 45-minute trip to the Washington Dulles International Airport Metro Station from the Rosslyn Metro Station. Alongside the new Dulles Station, the extension has five other stops and ends in Ashburn, Virginia.

Dulles isn’t the only option for international travel, but the alternatives can be inconvenient. Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) is the second-nearest international airport to Georgetown. 

Getting to BWI can be a hassle, according to Esmeralda Vazquez (COL ’24). “It was horrible,” she said, citing multiple delays that caused her to arrive a mere 40 minutes before her flight’s boarding time.

Vazquez shared that her trip to BWI through Uber, the Union Station Metro, and Amtrak was about $135 to get to the airport and back to the university. 

Prior to the new expansion, the best public transportation route from campus to Dulles was to take the 5A bus from the Rosslyn Metro Station, to which the Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle runs buses to during the weekdays.

However, the 5A bus only stopped on either end at 1-hour intervals, alongside having had to deal with traffic, limited bus space and the $7.50 one-way fare. The 5A bus’ continued existence is uncertain at this time, but the WMATA plans to re-evaluate overnight demand for it after the Silver Line’s opening.

Prior to being aware of the expansion, Kevin Liu (COL ’26), an international student, said he would prefer taking an Uber or taxi to get to Dulles. “Definitely, getting on an Uber and saying, ‘I’m going to Dulles,’ that’s definitely the easiest to remember,” he said. 

Through Uber, a trip on Nov. 7 from Georgetown University to Dulles at 12:00 p.m. was quoted at $45.89. The Yellow Cab Company of DC Inc. fared even worse, quoting $80.46 for the same trip prepaid. Both of these estimates did not include a tip for the half-hour (or more) ride and were not affected by any holiday travel service charges.

Liu quickly changed his mind when he learned of the Silver Line’s expansion’s $2 to $6 cost. “If I know there’s a cheaper way to go, by [GUTS] bus, I would definitely look up the way to go,” he said.

The Silver Line extension doesn’t just benefit those getting to Dulles, though. For students living in the DMV area, the extension is a convenient way to go home more often.

Ishan Datey (SFS ’25), who lives a short drive away from the new Metro expansion, shared that the extension has saved his parents about one hour of driving time round-trip when they are bringing him home.

When asked about his other travels, Datey said, “My airport options have increased. I can now go to Dulles directly via Metro, I can go to Reagan directly via Metro.” 

Georgetown University shared in a Nov. 17 email announcement that there will be shuttles directly to Dulles and Reagan airports on Nov. 22 and 23. Returning shuttles from both locations will run on Nov. 27. The Georgetown Office of Transportation Management is also likely to continue their trend of providing shuttles directly to Dulles International Airport during the last few days of the semester.

“We continue to explore new opportunities to connect our campus community to the city via free or low-cost modes of transportation,” a university spokesperson said of the expansion. “We regularly monitor changes to the region’s public transportation infrastructure to be able to best serve the needs of the Georgetown community.” 

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Gerald Hoss

Great I see my friend can use Silver Line returning from Dulles on 11/27.


It would be even better if Metro rerouted the Blue Line north from Rosslyn into Georgetown.