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Metro plans for Sunday marathon

Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. Sunday to accommodate the runners and spectators heading to the Marine Corps Marathon. In addition to opening two hours earlier than normal, the transit authority will put on extra Blue Line trains.

But Metrobus riders should note that, because of the marathon route, the Pentagon Transit Center operations will be relocated to the Pentagon City Metrorail station between 4 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday. So if you would normally ride Metrorail to the Pentagon Station and transfer to a Metrobus, this Sunday you will need to ride to Pentagon City to catch your bus.

See also: Sunday marathon to disrupt traffic

The Pentagon Station on the Blue and Yellow lines is the closest to the start line, which is just south of Arlington Memorial Drive on Route 110 in Arlington. The Rosslyn and Arlington Cemetery stations also draw big crowds on marathon day. For security reasons, Metro says, the Arlington Cemetery Station entrance will open after the start of the race.

The extra Blue Line trains will be in service from 5 to 9 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Blue Line trains will operate every 7½ minutes between the Franconia-Springfield and Stadium-Armory stations. All Blue Line trains will continue to leave Largo Town Center every 15 minutes, Metro says.

There will be thousands of extra people on the trains and platforms, but it's manageable. The biggest difficulty is likely to be the crowding at the fare-vending machines and the fare gates. Many of the runners and spectators will be from out of town, and they won't understand how the fare cards work.

Runners, it's a good idea to put a plastic cover over your paper fare card. You'll find they get soggy after a few miles in the marathon, and they may not work right at the fare gate.

By Robert Thomson  | October 27, 2010; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  Events, Metro  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Marine Corps Marathon, Metrorail  
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