Metro Expects Hour-Long Waits, Packed Railcars For Inauguration

Several stations to be closed

The Washington area's transit system says passengers should expect packed railcars and buses and extraordinarily long lines on Inauguration Day.

Metro chief John Catoe on Thursday outlined the agency's plans for the Jan. 20 swearing in of President-elect Barack Obama. He says Metro could surpass previous ridership records.

He says there will be long waits of perhaps an hour or more to get into downtown stations after the swearing-in ceremony.

To handle the crowds, Metro will operate on a rush-hour schedule from 4 a.m. until 7 p.m. and will stay open two extra hours (until 2 a.m.).  Metro will also offer free parking at Metro-owned facilities.

For security reasons, the Archives-Navy Memorial station will be closed, as will the National Mall entrance of the Smithsonian station.

Metrobus will operate on a normal Saturday schedule. Detours are possible.  Bus customers should plan significant extra time. No vehicular traffic, including buses, is expected to be able to pass close to the U.S. Capitol, nor will vehicles be able to cross Pennsylvania Avenue.

Metro will create an Inauguration Web page Friday that will be dedicated to providing info leading up to Inauguration Weekend. Inauguration e-mail alerts also will be available.

Special SmarTrip Cards

Metro is designing commemorative farecards, one-day passes and SmarTrip cards that riders will be able to purchase and use in the days leading up to, during, and after the Inauguration.

The paper farecards are expected to be in vending machines by late December. The $10 commemorative SmarTrip card will be available in early January.

More Information:

Metro's Web Site

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