The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies released information Sunday about the ticket and access plan for President-elect Barack Obama's Inaugural Swearing-In Ceremony.
The official map of the Capitol Grounds shows the various tickets sections, identifies the colors of the tickets that correspond to each section, and identifies the most convenient Metro Stop for that section's entry point.
Tickets for the event will be released to members of Congress beginning Monday. Each member's office is then responsible for distributing their allotment of tickets to their constituents. Members of Congress are no longer taking requests for tickets.
The 240,000 color-coded tickets were printed by the Government Printing Office and contain multiple security features to protect against counterfeiting. Every person attending the Swearing-in Ceremonies on the Capitol Grounds is required to have a ticket, including children (with the exception of infants too young to walk).
The JCCIC released the following information to help people get to the ceremony:
Ticketed guests must enter the Capitol Grounds through the entry point designated for their particular section.
Because of the large crowds expected to be travelling to the Capitol Grounds and the National Mall, and the numerous street closures and other security measures that will impact travel routes, ticketed guests are advised to make careful plans to ensure they arrive at their designated access point well in advance of the start of the official program. Security screening gates will open at 8 a.m., music will begin at 9 a.m., and the formal program begins at 11:30 a.m. Guests not through the screening points by 11:30 a.m. may not be allowed to enter.
Ticketed guests with tickets in any of the south sections (Orange and Blue) or the Mall Standing Areas (Silver) will enter through gates on the south side of the Capitol Grounds.
Due to the closure of Pennsylvania Avenue for the parade, those guests coming from the north will have to access the south side of the Capitol Grounds in the following ways:
- Metro: Use the Federal Center SW or Capitol South Metro stops, and walk from there (there will be signage, Wayfinders and U.S. Capitol police personnel directing tickets holders to the correct access points) Alternative Metro exits in case of overcrowding include L'Enfant Plaza to the west and Eastern Market to the east;
- On foot from the East or Northeast: Walk around the east side of the Capitol using 2nd Street NE/SE (or streets further east) to reach C Street SE and walk west from there to the Blue, Orange and Silver gates.
- On foot from the North or Northwest: Use the 3rd Street tunnel, entrance at 3rd and D Streets near the Labor Department, NW to cross under Pennsylvania Avenue and the Mall. The tunnel will be closed to through traffic and open for pedestrian use, and this will be the only way to cross Pennsylvania Avenue and the Mall near the Capitol.
Ticketed guests in the north sections (Yellow and Purple tickets) will enter on the North side of the Capitol grounds.
Guests will also need to follow routes that do not require them to cross Pennsylvania Avenue.
- Metro: Union Station is the best access point for Yellow Ticket Holders; Judiciary Square is the preferred Metro station for Purple ticket holders.
- On foot from the South or Southwest: Use the 3rd Street tunnel to cross under the Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue. One side of the tunnel will be closed for pedestrian use, and this is the only way to cross the Mall near the Capitol. Or, walk around the Capitol to the east using 2nd Street SE/NE (or streets further east) to reach the north side of the Capitol Grounds.
Metro riders should be aware that Metro trains may not be able to stop at stations that are deemed to be overcrowded for safety reasons.
If this happens, and ticketed persons miss the designated stop for their ticket area, they should get off at the next possible stop and walk back toward their designated station.
Information about how to access the Capitol Grounds and other important information for people with tickets to the Inaugural Swearing-in Ceremonies is available on the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies Web site: http://www.inaugural.senate.gov.
The Web site also includes an interactive map that allows users to enter their address and find public transportation routes to the Capitol. The map includes markers for all VRE, MARC, and Metrorail train stations operating on Inauguration Day outside the District of Columbia.
When a marker is selected (or clicked) an information bubble displays showing the station name, address, type of transportation (metro, VRE, MARC), and two links: one to the station Web page and one to the inauguration page setup by either VRE, MARC, or metro. This will help people make decisions about which form of transportation is best to use.