WASHINGTON – Amid the year of announced Metro track work, Independence Day revelers do not need to worry about any scheduled work getting in the way of fireworks.
Here are the basics on July 4 transit service:
1. Metro plans no track work on the holiday
The two-week shutdown of stretches of the Blue, Orange and Silver Line ends July 3; the next round-the-clock track work zone begins near Reagan National Airport around 8 p.m. July 5.
2. Consider using stations farther from the National Mall to avoid the worst crowding
While the inclination for many riders heading downtown may be to use the Smithsonian Metro station, other stations within a few blocks of the National Mall may prove better options at the busiest times just before and after the fireworks.
On the Green and Yellow lines, Archives, Gallery Place and L’Enfant Plaza are within walking distance of the National Mall.
On the Red Line, stations close to the Mall include Union Station, Judiciary Square, Gallery Place and Metro Center. Farragut North is not much farther away.
On the Blue, Orange and Silver lines, Capitol South, L’Enfant Plaza, Metro Center Federal Center SW, Federal Triangle and Foggy Bottom are all options.
Riders coming from Blue Line stations in Virginia should consider getting off at Arlington Cemetery and walking across the Memorial Bridge, or even getting off at Pentagon City and walking to the Virginia bank of the Potomac to watch from across the river.
3. Regional rail another option
MARC Penn Line trains are running on a Saturday schedule on July 4 with regular fares. There is no service on the Camden or Brunswick lines.
VRE runs special “Firecracker Special” trains on the Fredericksburg and Manassas lines; however, VRE sells the tickets online ahead of time.
4. Avoid transfers
With all Metro lines serving areas close to the National Mall, and Union Station within walking distance of the Capitol, going straight to the rail line riders need will help cut down on the number of times riders need to fight through crowds and make for the most direct trip.
Along the same lines, using alternate entrances to stations, such as the escalators at Judiciary Square farthest from the National Mall, or simply waiting 30 to 45 minutes for the most significant Metro crowding to die down, can also make the ride less stressful. Just be sure not to wait too long and miss the last train.
5. Buses on holiday or weekend schedules
Most commuter bus services or weekday-only routes across the region will not run. MTA Maryland Commuter bus Route 201 will operate to and from BWI Marshall Airport on a weekend/holiday schedule. Due to the long weekend, several bus services have tweaked schedules for Friday, July 1.
Metrobus, Fairfax Connector, RideOn and many other bus systems across the region run on Saturday schedules. Some routes downtown, including the DC Circulator, may be detoured due to road closures.
TheBus in Prince George’s County does not run on July 4.