Commuter bus 335 connecting Columbia, Md., to D.C., will instead take passengers to the Greenbelt Metro Station. (Evy Mages/For The Washington Post)

Maryland residents who take a commuter bus to downtown Washington will have to transfer to the Metrorail system to get to their jobs during Pope Francis’s visit later this month.

More than a dozen commuter bus routes that connect Maryland communities to downtown will be detoured to a Metro station Sept. 23 and Sept. 24, the Maryland Transit Administration said Thursday.  The MTA also announced that it is canceling service on seven routes those two days and riders should find alternate routes to get to their destinations.

The modifications could impact thousands of commuters who skip the rail system altogether to get to the District from areas as far as Columbia, Annapolis, and Waldorf.  On an average weekday about 13,700 people take the commuter bus system into the District, MTA spokesman Paul Shepard said.  The MTA, however, is projecting that the great majority of riders may not be using the service those two days.

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The Office of Personnel Management has urged federal agencies to let employees to work from home or take time off to avoid the expected long delays, traffic jams, and travel disruptions during the Papal visit. Shepard said given the OPM recommendation, the MTA expects the demand for the commuter bus service those two days will be similar to demand on Inauguration Day when more than 50 percent of riders didn’t go into the District because they knew it would be difficult to get into the city’s core.

“You have to be reasonable, there is no way to get to downtown with the street closures,” Shepard said. “There are some people who still need to get to downtown D.C. and we are trying to accommodate them the best that we can by getting them to the outlying rail where they can take a train into downtown.”

Pope Francis will arrive in Washington the evening of Sept. 22 and will appear at various public events the following two days before continuing his six-day trip in the U.S.  The events are expected to close roads in several parts of the District and create significant traffic backups.

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MTA officials said the best way to accommodate D.C.-bound commuters is by taking them to five Metro stations.  The morning schedules will remain the same and stops will remain the same, except for Route 850 which will run five extra trips during the morning commute. The fares will not change.

The addition of MTA riders will further increase Metro’s ridership those two days.  The transit system is already expecting large crowds of visitors who will be in town to see the Argentine-born pontiff at public events in the U.S. Capitol and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

[Metro will run near rush-hour rail service during Pope Francis’s visit, but expect crowds and delays]

MTA riders who take buses serving other parts of the region will not be affected.  The unchanged routes are: 201, 202, 203 and 204.  The following MTA routes will be canceled: 230, 240, 345, 610, 715, 830, and 840. MTA officials say the people who use those routes will have alternative options.

Other changes

Route 220: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Landover Metro station. Buses will depart every 15 minutes between 3:45 p.m. and 6:10 p.m. with a mid-day trip scheduled to depart at 1 p.m.

Route 250: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Landover Metro station. Buses will depart every 25 minutes between 4 p.m. and 6:10 p.m..

Route 260: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Landover Metro station. Buses will depart every 30 minutes between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Route 305: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Silver Spring Metro station. Follow the regular timetable.

Route 315: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Silver Spring Metro station.  Follow the regular timetable.

Route 325: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Silver Spring Metro station.  Follow the regular timetable.

Route 335: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Greenbelt Metro station. Buses will depart approximately every 25 minutes between 3:30 p.m. and 6:10 p.m. with a mid-day trip scheduled to depart at 1 p.m..

Route 620: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Branch Avenue Metro station. Buses will depart approximately every 20 minutes between 3:30 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. with a mid-day trip scheduled to depart at 1:15 p.m..

Routes 630 and 640:  Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Branch Avenue Metro station. Buses will depart approximately every 20 minutes between 4 p.m. and 6:20 p.m..

Route 650: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Branch Avenue Metro. Buses will depart approximately every 20 minutes between 3:50 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. with a mid-day trip departing at 1:15 p.m. and one later trip departing at 7 p.m. This route will only serve Accokeek in the a.m. and p.m.  LaPlata and South Potomac Church stops will not be served. Those riders will need to use Route 630 on these days.

Route 705:  Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Branch Avenue Metro station. Buses will depart approximately every 15 minutes between 2:50 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. with a mid-day trip departing at 1:15 p.m.

Route 725: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Branch Avenue Metro station. Buses will depart approximately every 30 minutes between 3:40 p.m. and 6:15 p.m.

Route 735: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Suitland Metro station. Follow the regular timetable.

Route 810: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Suitland Metro station. Buses will depart approximately every 30 minutes between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Route 820: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Suitland Metro station. Buses will depart approximately every 30 minutes between 3:55 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. with a mid-day trip departing at 1 p.m.

Route 850: Trips will terminate (a.m.) and originate (p.m.) at Suitland Metro station. There will be five extra morning trips every 15 minutes between 6:30 a.m. and 7:45 a.m.; Buses will depart approximately every 15 minutes between 3:45 p.m. and 6 p.m.