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Make a Plan: Your Checklist for Tour Bus Parking in Arlington

The big trip is set. Your group is ready, the itinerary is planned, and everyone is excited about the upcoming trip to Arlington and the capital region. But have you thought of everything? As a tour group leader, have you planned out where to park the motorcoach that brings you? Whether it’s your first or fiftieth visit to Arlington and the Washington, D.C., area, you’ve probably heard that parking can be a challenge, especially for a large motorcoach. That’s why it’s critical to plan ahead. And that’s why we’re here with a step-by-step guide to help you ensure your visit goes on without a hitch…or a lack of a parking spot.

Step One: Review the Tour Bus Parking Maps 

There are a total of 12 tour bus zones with 40 parking spaces throughout Arlington. All are first-come, first-served. This interactive map shows available parking areas throughout the County. No reservations are accepted for tour bus parking. These are metered parking spots at a rate of $3 per hour per bus during the hours of meter operation. 

Tour buses may also park in any commercial area where there are no lines demarking standard car parking meter spaces and where the width accommodates the bus. At these locations, drivers must pay the standard meter rate and follow the time duration regulations. Some areas are restricted for as short as 30 minutes, but many of them allow parking for as long as 10 hours. In those standard car metered areas, there’s no charge for parking overnight. 

Step Two: Reserve Under Special Circumstances 

In special cases where an organization, group or hotel seeks to guarantee specific parking meter spaces at specific times, an application for a Moving Van/Container Permit may be completed online. This form must be submitted a minimum of five business days in advance of the first parking date requested. 

Step Three: Make a Plan for Alternate Parking 

In certain peak times (typically spring and fall), tour bus parking is at a premium, but there are several alternative locations around Northern Virginia and D.C. where you can find alternate parking arrangements. View a list of alternative parking options in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. to find information on fees, reservations, etc. 

A simple parking strategy before your trip can make all the difference for your group and ensure your visit to Arlington and the capital region goes off without a hitch. For more information and detailed maps, visit the Arlington County Transportation Department’s Motorcoach Parking page. 

Author: Cara O'Donnell