Travel Information for SPI Participants

The Summer Peacebuilding Institute takes place on the campus of Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Access driving directions and a campus map for EMU.

Information is provided below for those needing transportation to SPI from an airport, train station, or bus station. We are aware that our transportation costs appear high and we understand the hardship this represents for some of you. We do work to keep rates as low as possible. Prices for airport and train station pick-ups are listed below, along with other information about each arrival location. To request transportation, please indicate clearly your needs when you fill out the online reservation, including pick-up destination, date and time, and flight, train, or bus number.

Group discounts: If you are in a vehicle with other participants, SPI will reduce the per person charges listed below by 40%. You must request this discount at registration. Any discount will be applied towards remaining charges on your overall SPI bill. If you are due a refund, it will be given to you at the end of your stay.

Summary of SPI transportation fees

One-way rates to or from EMU per person are as follows:

*Preferred location

SPI transportation services

  • A vehicle will be sent to the airport whenever a participant requests pick-up or drop-off.
  • The SPI transportation coordinator will designate a pick-up time and pick-up location where participants will meet the driver. Participants will be notified of these details by email a week before travel.
  • The pick-up time may be several hours after your scheduled arrival if more than one person is being picked up at a time.
  • We are committed to minimizing our impact on the environment. To do this, we try to combine pick-ups where the times between arrival or departure are not too far apart. To this end, you may need to wait at the airport several hours if more than one person is being picked up.

For international participants, we suggest flying into Dulles (not Dallas) International Airport (airport code IAD), located near Washington, DC, or into one of our regional airports: the Shenandoah Valley Regional airport (SHD) or the Charlottesville Albemarle airport (CHO). For domestic participants, we recommend flying into one of our regional airports (SHD or CHO) if possible. SPI can arrange for shuttle service from these three arrival locations (see fees above). While flying into a local airport may mean an additional change of planes and/or a slightly higher airfare, when you add in round-trip transportation from your arrival airport to EMU, it might be the most cost-effective option. Note that there are now many direct or almost direct domestic flights into Charlottesville that should not add much cost or time to your trip.

Alternatively, you might check the cost of flying into Reagan National airport (DCA) or Baltimore Washington International airport (BWI) on smaller, less expensive carriers. But be aware that SPI transportation from BWI and DCA is higher in cost than a pick-up at IAD. If you choose one of these options, you may also want to look into renting a car as the car rental cost for your entire time at SPI may be cheaper than the cost of SPI round-trip transportation services.

See a list of preferred airports for arrival.

AMTRAK provides service to Washington D.C., Charlottesville, VA and Staunton, VA. Although the Staunton station is the closest one to EMU/SPI, trains do not arrive in Staunton daily. Please check directly with AMTRAK for information about schedules. SPI can arrange transportation for you from the Washington, D.C. or Charlottesville, VA stations. You can also take a taxi from the Staunton, VA station (see fees above).

Unfortunately, since Harrisonburg is not directly served by any airports, train stations or bus terminals, travelers without their own vehicles, or rental vehicles, are dependent on SPI to provide shuttle service.

See a list of available train stations in the area.

Dulles International Airport, about 120 miles (2 hours) from the EMU campus, is the largest international airport in the area. The airport is located on the outskirts of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area so traffic is usually not problematic. From this airport, you can arrange for SPI pick-up or rent a car to use during your stay at SPI. Most major airlines fly into Dulles.

  • SPI individual pick-up fee: $160 per person/ one way

The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport is about 20 miles (30 minutes) from the EMU campus. United Airlines flies into this airport, but ONLY from Dulles International Airport (IAD). There are usually two flights per day.

  • SPI does not provide individual pick-up at this airport since the shuttle service run by the Shenandoah airport costs less than the SPI cost would be.
  • SPI can reserve the shuttle for you and charge the fee to your account if you request this on your reservation form.
  • You can also reserve it yourself by calling (540)234-8304 or emailing
  • Shenandoah Airport Shuttle: $30 one way/$60 round-trip.

The Charlottesville Albemarle Airport is about 60 miles (1 hour) from the EMU campus. Airlines serving Charlottesville include Delta, Northwest, United Express and US Airways. There are nonstop flights between CHO and Atlanta, Detroit, Washington Dulles, Philadelphia, Charlotte, and New York’s LaGuardia as well as a few other locations. From this airport, you can arrange for SPI pick-up or rent a car to use during your stay at EMU.

  • SPI individual pick-up: $100 per person/ one way

Additional air arrival locations and fees

SPI will not operate regular shuttles to these locations. SPI transportation from these airports will cost the individual pick-up fee. Discounts for picking up multiple persons at one time apply.

Located approximately 140 miles (3 hours) from the EMU campus. This airport is less desirable as an entry point because Washington D.C. traffic conditions mean that significant time may be added to the trip. Please note: the Washington Metro (“subway” or “tube” or “light train”) connects DCA with the Vienna metro station. SPI can offer a cheaper rate if participant is picked up at the Vienna metro station. Information about the Metro can be found at their website: www.wmata.com

  • SPI individual pick-up fee: $175 per person/ one way
  • Pick-up fee from Vienna metro station: $170 per person/ one way

Located approximately 180 (3 hours) miles from the EMU campus.

  • SPI individual pick-up fee: $200 per person/ one way
  • A taxi from BWI costs approximately $280-350. If two or three people are flying in together, this would be a cheaper option.

Note: Make sure to emphasize that you are travelling to Harris+*on*+burg, VA rather than Harrisburg, PA. Harrisburg is about 4 hours away from EMU!

Located approximately 112 miles (2 hours) from the EMU campus.

  • SPI individual pick-up fee: $135 per person/ one way

Located approximately 140 miles (2.5 hours) from the EMU campus.

  • SPI individual pick-up fee: $160 per person/ one way

Staunton, VA. The closest train station to EMU, approximately 30 miles (40 minutes) away. Please note that trains do not come to Staunton every day.

  • SPI does not provide pick-up at this location as taxi cab costs are less than SPI costs would be. To reserve a taxicab in Staunton (City Cab Staunton), call 540-886-3471 or call upon arrival at the Amtrak station. The cost is about $60.

Charlottesville, VA. Located approximately 50 miles (1 hour) from EMU, also has a train station. Two trains per day usually come from Washington, D.C. to Charlottesville.

  • SPI individual pick-up: $100 per person/ one way

Washington, DC, Union Station. Located approximately 135 miles (2.5 hours) from the EMU campus. Many trains arrive daily at Union Station.

  • SPI individual pick-up: $170 per person/ one way

Washington, DC, Vienna Metro Station. Located approximately 116 miles (2 hours) from the EMU campus. Visit www.wmata.com to navigate the DC Metro system

  • SPI individual pick-up: $145 per person/ one way