Metro to boost service for immigration rally

A Metro train arrives at Farragut North. (Luz Lazo – The Washington Post) A Metro train arrives at Farragut North. (Luz Lazo – The Washington Post)

Metro is boosting service on Wednesday afternoon to accommodate extra passengers expected because of an immigrant rights rally planned for Capitol Hill.

The rally, called for 3 p.m., will overlap with the afternoon rush hour.

The rally could add more than 10,000 additional riders on the system, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said. He said the agency also expects a good mix of Cherry Blossom visitors and Nationals fans Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Metro said it plans to operate additional 8-car trains and extra trains on the Blue and Orange lines Wednesday afternoon.  The agency will have additional rail supervisors, police and emergency staff at some stations to assist customers and manage the crowds, Stessel said.

To limit the backups that occur at the fare machines during such events, Metro officials encourage customers to purchase and load their farecard or SmarTrip card in advance.

Many event participants are expected to board at Stadium-Armory and to ride to Capitol South. Stessel said with the potential for heavy crowds at Capitol South, the agency also encourages visitors to consider using other stations, including Federal Center SW, Union Station or Eastern Market.

The rally, which is expected to end at 6 p.m., is part of a coordinated effort by Hispanic, labor and church groups to urge action to address the nation’s broken immigration system.

Luz Lazo writes about transportation and development. She has recently written about the challenges of bus commuting, Metro’s dark stations, and the impact of sequestration on air travel.

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