Monday, January 19, 2009

Officials are urging those attending inaugural events tomorrow to ride Metrorail and Metrobus. Both the subway and bus systems will run extra service. Some tips:

· Restrooms at all 86 Metrorail stations will be closed because of security. Metro has rented 150 portable toilets and is placing most of them at stations at or near the ends of the lines, where traffic is expected to be heaviest early in the day. (Metro can only put them on property it owns, making it difficult to put them at downtown locations.) The largest number of portable toilets will be at the Shady Grove, Franconia-Springfield, New Carrollton, Greenbelt and College Park stations.

· Metro will operate trains for 22 consecutive hours tomorrow, from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m., and run 17 straight hours of rush-hour service, from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m., charging rush-hour fares.

· Metro also will run rapid-bus service every 10 minutes on 23 special corridors throughout the day to and from the Mall. Those buses will have a special placard in the window. Out-of-town riders who don't have $1.35 for the cash fare or an electronic SmarTrip card ($1.25 fare) can buy special $5 bus passes aboard those buses for unlimited travel.

· If trains become too crowded, train operators might be instructed to go through stations without stopping. In those cases, the next train traveling down the line might start out empty so it can pick up passengers left behind by the first train.

· On Metro's busiest line, the Red Line, every other train heading outbound from the city will turn around before reaching the terminal stations and head back downtown to provide extra capacity for crowds going to Washington. On the west side, trains will turn around at the Grosvenor-Strathmore station, and on the east side, trains will turn around at the Silver Spring station, from 7:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. After 9 p.m., all Red Line trains will operate to the Shady Grove and Glenmont stations.

· During rush hour, Red Line trains will operate from the ends of the lines about every five minutes. All other lines will operate trains about every six minutes from the terminal stations.

· After midnight, all Red Line trains will operate every 15 minutes and all Blue, Orange, Yellow and Green line trains will operate every 20 minutes.

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