Metro is ramping up its inauguration preparations — and as part of that has launched a Twitter feed, @MetroInaug, and a Web site that offers details on service hours as well as information on how to purchase special edition SmarTrip cards, WMATA is offering for the occasion.
WMATA’s staff is slated to brief the board’s Customer Service and Operations Committee on the details of the 2013 plan during its Thursday meeting.
Metro has already announced it will be offering extended rush hour service throughout the day (at rush hour prices) started at 4 a.m. on Jan. 21 and running through 2 a.m. (For those keeping track, that’s 17 consecutive hours of rush hour trains). In addition, Special extra trains — also known as “gap” trains will be available on all lines to respond to extraordinary demands for service, officials said.
Metrobus will be operating weekday rush hour service on the morning of the inauguration and early rush hour service in the afternoon. But keep in mind — if you plan on traveling by bus, some routes may be re-routed due to street closures — so plan accordingly. MetroAccess will operate identical hours to Metrorail and Metrobus — but again, given traffic conditions, customers are advised to plan ahead.
A few new tidbits:
- Metro transit police are requesting 200 additional officers from outside law enforcement agencies to provide support.
- Metro officials have also launched an inauguration information page, where the public can get updates and information about Metro service during the festivities. Also available @MetroInaug — Twitter updates. (Already more than 100 people are following the account).
- More than 300 “Ambassadors” drawn from existing Metro staff to help field questions and provide support on Inauguration Day.
- Metro will offer wristbands at the end of the line stations with the name on the station printed on them, so folks won’t forget where they started their trip.
- Metro officials have sold about 4,000 commemorative SmarTrip cards with President Obama’s image on them. In total, officials ordered 100,000 of the cards.
- Officials also plan to crate a commemorative brochure and walking map it will make available to customers.
Metro officials are preparing for 800,000 visitors during Inauguration Weekend. For Obama’s first inauguration the system carried 1.5 million passengers on Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess.