This isn't about a pay per view fight coming to you from our area but the fact that every day in Northern Virginia hitchhikers are jumping in strangers cars and headed in to DC. Our slug lines are famous around the country as a unique form of carpooling not often found in other major metropolitan cities.
Many like to associate the term "slug" with the slimy creatures you find in your garden but the term actually started with the bus drivers who would find riders who had slipped in "slugs" or fake tokens into the token box instead of the real ones. The term stuck and became linked with grabbing a free ride in our area.
Slug lines have flourished and become one of the easiest and certainly cheapest ways to get into town during the work week. The protocol for slugging is well established, the routes defined and though it is not officially sanctioned by any local jurisdiction there are no laws against it. Most of the official slug lines are along the I-95 corridor from as far south as Fredericksburg in Stafford County. The best hours to be picked up in the morning vary by location but generally coincide with the HOV lane restrictions of 6-9 am and 3:30-6PM.
At first newcomers to the area are skeptical about jumping into a car with a perfect stranger, lets face it we all have heard the horror stories about hitchhiking but in the case of slugging you won't find any problems. There are official pick up and drop off spots in the suburbs of Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford Counties and there are official pick up and drop off spots in DC. Lines are orderly and if anyone tries to break ranks and skip ahead in the they quickly learn that drivers will leave them stranded.
Combine slugging with our extensive bus routes, rail lines and subway routes and smart commuters find out quickly that with the price of gas over $3.00 a gallon that they can leave the car at home and enjoy getting to the city with far less stress by taking public transportation. The Pentagon is one of the major drop off and pick up points for slugs and makes it perfect for active duty personnel!
My map is a sample of slug line locations in our area. To see more of the official slug lines check out the Official Slug-Line Website. If you are relocating to Northern Virginia and want to know more about slugging or getting around the area give me a call. As a native of the area I have a few secrets I can share about how to get from here to there!
©2008. All Rights Reserved. Cindy Jones "Slugging It Out in Northern Virginia"
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