Catching a ride on Metro can be tough, but there are some pro-tips you can use to hack your commute:
Tip 1: If you're on a section of the system with multiple lines and see a train with space heading in your direction, take it -- even if it's not the right color.
For example, a lot of downtown Orange Line riders will see a Silver Line train with space and let it go by. But you'll have a more comfortable ride if you take the Silver Line train to a transfer point and catch the Orange Line train from there.
You'll spend the same amount of time on the platform, but you won't have to cram into a packed train.
Tip 2: Don't forget the first and last cars in each train. You're more likely to find space in those cars than the ones in the middle.
"An 8-car train will take up the entire length of the platform, and you're almost certain to find space in the last car," said Metro spokesman Dan Stessel. "If it's a 6, your best bet is the very first car. The last car of a 6 will be the most crowded."
Tip 3: Skip the lines at farecard machines. SmarTrip auto reload lets you set up your account to reload whenever your funds are running low, meaning you'll never have to wait in line to refill your SmarTrip.