If past Fringe festivals are any indication, thousands of people are preparing to descend on the new festival area of Trinidad/H Street NE neighborhoods July 9 through Aug. 2, where there is virtually no parking.
It could be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to a few companies in the D.C. area, getting to Fringe can be as simple as a few clicks on your phone, tablet or laptop.
For Metro transportation to Fringe headquarters, DC Theatre Scene recommends going to Gallery Place and taking the x-2 bus which runs up H Street NE and near the Florida Avenue Fringe hub. (Thanks for the suggestion, Joel Markowitz of DCMetroTheaterArts.)
A new, D.C.-based ride-sharing startup called Split (Split.us) launched last month, is offering an app-based hailing system with its own unique novel features to make it stand out from similar services out there.
Split works much like a carpool, Dan Winston, Split’s director of strategy explained to us. Drivers will pick up customers who are all going the same way, dropping them at their destinations one by one. It might take a little longer than a direct ride, but the relatively low cost reflects that. Right now, rides cost between $2 and $8.
Logan Fringe Arts Space
1358 Florida Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002
Capital Fringe shuttle
“We are a whole new way to get around town. A convenient, sustainable and affordable smarter share ride,” he says. “You go on our app, tell us where you’re going and we’ll instantly send a car to pick you up. When the car arrives, there might already be someone in the car, and when you’re headed to your destination it might drop off or pick up other people, because we have a revolutionary algorithm that combines overlapping trips.”
Winston says it’s very well suited for Fringe because there are multiple people who don’t know each other but are going in the same direction, so everyone gets there cheaper than if they used a taxi or other car service.
Split is expanding its services to include more drivers where the Fringe shows will be playing and all attendees who download the app will get four free trips with Split promo code FRINGE.
Lyft (Lyft.com) is another company that offers an app for welcoming, affordable rides within minutes. All a theatergoer needs to do is request a ride in the Lyft app with the tap of a button, and get picked up by a background-checked driver. After the ride ends, the customer can rate the driver and provide feedback on the in-car experience. All payment is cashless and handled electronically through the app.
“By providing safe rides within minutes, Lyft will be a convenient way for Fringe Festival attendees to go to and from the festival without having to worry about parking,” says Lyft spokesperson Mary Caroline Pruitt. “Lyft will be operating normally in D.C. throughout the festival.”
Uber (Uber.com) also has drivers available in the area and by downloading the Uber app, one can call for a car in just minutes at fares that are usually cheaper than most taxis.
For festival goers who want to drive but don’t have their own vehicle, Getaround (getaround.com) may be the answer. Also new to the D.C. market, Getaround lets people rent cars from other people for a fraction of what it would cost to rent from a rental company.
And for those who elect to drive themselves, a buzz-worthy parking service is up and running that can make the task a lot easier.
With more than 10,000 parking spaces in the Washington D.C. area, Parking Panda (parkingpanda.com) has been providing parking solutions for D.C. for several years.
“Parking Panda allows customers to book guaranteed parking online from their website or in real-time from a smartphone through their free iOS and Android applications,” Aiman Ahmed, communications manager for Parking Panda, says. “By partnering with parking operators, professional sports teams, stadiums, event venues, ticketing companies, event organizers and more, Parking Panda brings its users prime parking availability at the best rates.”
That means Fringe Festival attendees can book guaranteed parking prior to arrival and save themselves the time and hassle of searching for parking in downtown D.C. Plus, attendees get access to exclusive online discounted pricing (cheaper than drive-up rates) and can take advantage of a special 15% discount offered to Fringe goers by using discount code FRINGE15.
Parking Panda has set up a special page for Capital Fringe-goers. Ahmed recommends that anyone coming out to Fringe shows book early to get the closest parking at the best rates.
Once you’re in the area, you can always hop on one of the shuttles running most of the day from Brookland Metro, the Logan Fringe Arts Space and Gallaudet University. All riders must present a Fringe button to board. The shuttle will operate between July 9 and 26. For shuttle times, visit capitalfringe.org/festival-2015/grounds-shuttle.