US Open pushes driving over Metro
People attending the US Open this June can choose between taking transit or parking at lots 15 miles away. Yet transit riders will have to pay for shuttles from the Metro on top of their fares, while drivers get both free parking and free rides to the Open.
The USGA's premiere event will he held this year at the Congressional Country Club, between Bethesda and Potomac. The private club does not have parking facilities on site to accommodate the thousands of spectators expected to attend.
The US Open Spectator Guide also contains a section about Metro transportation which begins, "Metro will serve as a quick and convenient way to travel to the US Open." Yet anyone wishing or needing to take transit will face a tough time. Tournament organizers are providing shuttle service from the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station, but with a caveat. Each rider must pay "an additional cost" and they must schedule their ride in advance.
Spectators MUST make a reservation in advance, for an additional cost, directly with TMS. Additional information regarding this service and how to place an order directly with TMS will be available on-line beginning May 2nd.The guide originally listed the cost as $8, but USGA replaced it with the vaguer "an additional cost" in the past few days. The guide promises more information would be posted by May 2, but as of today, no more information seems to be available.
Meanwhile, drivers will be offered free parking and free shuttles to and from their cars all day long.
Both of the parking lots are located in Gaitherburg, nearly 15 miles from the Congressional Country Club. Meanwhile, Grosvenor-Strathmore is half that distance. The Bethesda Metro would have required only a 5 mile shuttle trip.
So why the blatant transit-rider discrimination? After all, the USGA offered free transportation and security clearance from the Farmingdale LIRR station for the 2009 tournament at Bethpage Black.
I reached out to the USGA as well as their event planning contractor but hadn't received a response as of post time.
Thanks to reader Corey H. for the tip.
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