New signs are in place at stations along the Silver Line. (Robert Thomson/The Washington Post)

Metro plans a celebration to mark the start of Silver Line service July 26, but the festivities will not include a free ride. There’s no introductory special. The Silver Line’s first riders will pay the regular fare.

On Metro’s opening day in 1976, more than 51,000 people got a free ride through the system’s initial 4.2 miles, on the Red Line between Rhode Island Avenue and Farragut North. In the decades after that, Metro got out of the habit of offering free rides to mark the opening of additional stations.

The first Silver Line train is scheduled to leave the Wiehle-Reston East station at noon that Saturday. On weekends, the trains will operate every 12 to 20 minutes apart, depending on the time of day. Weekday commuters’ first experience with the Silver Line will come July 28. Trains are scheduled to reach platforms every six minutes as they make their way between the station at Wiehle Avenue on the east side of Reston and Largo Town Center in Prince George’s County.

While Metro has campaigned to get potential riders familiar with the Silver Line, some still ask if they will pay a separate fare to ride the new line. No, it’s the same fare system as the rest of the Metrorail system. By opening day, the fares will be higher for everyone, because of the fare and fee hikes that take effect this Sunday.

Some Blue Line riders have asked if they’ll be getting a discount, because their peak service will be cut back by two two trains per hour to accommodate the Silver Line. Here again, Metro says, there’s no change. Blue Line riders will pay the same fare as everyone else.