Metro opening early Saturday
Metro has announced more detailed plans for extra service during Saturday's One Nation rally on the National Mall. The train system will open an hour early, at 6 a.m., and will provide extra trains on the Blue Line to accommodate the crowd.
See the discussion we had Tuesday about Metro's policies on providing extra service. In the case of the One Nation rally, the organizers are covering the transit authority's costs for the early opening and extra trains.
The rally for civil and human rights is scheduled for the Lincoln Memorial. The event site will open at 6 a.m. Saturday, with a "pre-program" at 11 a.m., the organizers say. The official program is set for noon to 4 p.m.
The organizers note that the closest Metrorail stops are Smithsonian and Foggy Bottom on the Orange and Blue lines, and Arlington Cemetery on the Blue Line. (I'd pick Foggy Bottom as the easiest walk, but Arlington Cemetery for scenery, since you get to walk across the Memorial Bridge with its views of the Potomac River and the Lincoln Memorial.)
The extra Blue Line trains will operate between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Metro and the organizers are expecting big crowds on all the lines, though the largest probably will be on the Blue Line inbound from the Largo Town Center, Stadium-Armory and Pentagon stations.
People who are up for a longer walk to and from the trains also could use the
stations at Metro Center, Gallery Place, L'Enfant Plaza, Archives and Federal Triangle. Parking at the lots and garages operated by Metro is free on weekends.
Those who take the Red, Yellow or Green lines should add at least half an hour to their travel time because of the track maintenance schedule, which will delay trains. Red Line trains will share a track between Shady Grove and Twinbrook, and also between Rhode Island Avenue and New York Avenue. Yellow and Green Line trains will share a track between Mount Vernon and U Street.
If you're heading for the rally, make sure you put enough money on your plastic SmarTrip card or paper Farecard to cover the cost of a round trip. That way, you won't be standing on long lines at the fare vending machines after the rally.
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