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Metro Expands Hours for Inauguration Ceremony

The Washington Area Metro Transit Authority announced today that it will run rush hour service for 15 consecutive hours from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Inauguration Day Jan. 20, but the authority will charge riders off-peak holiday fares, the Post's Lena Sun reports. Metro will be open from 4 a.m. Jan. 20 until 2 a.m. Jan. 21, to handle commuters after the inaugural balls, General Manager John Catoe announced at a board meeting. (Here is the full announcement from Metro.)

Metro is expecting to move 1.6 million people on Inauguration Day, which would double the previous high of 850,000 on July 11. That number includes rail and bus service. The authority will issue 35,000 SmarTrip commemorative cards with a picture of Barack Obama, which can be purchased for $10 apiece on a special Web site that will be set up Friday and can be found by going to Commuters can then add value to the cards, which will come with no value, at the stations, and move quickly through the fare gates.

Metro's Archives Station and the Mall entrance of the Smithsonian Station will be closed on Jan. 20. Public restrooms also will be closed, but portable units will be set up outside. Parking at Metro stations will be free for automobiles on Jan. 20, but buses must pay. The authority expects all 60,000 parking spaces to be used that day.

Metro will offer regular weekend service on Jan. 17 and 18, Catoe said, and holiday service on Jan. 19, which is Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

Catoe said he will ask transit authorities in Maryland and Virginia to add bus-only lanes on highways into the District on Jan. 20 to move crowds more quickly.

Note: Newseum, which fronts the inaugural parade route along Pennsylvania Ave. NW, will also expand its hours on Jan. 20, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., with inauguration-themed exhibits.

Read more at Inauguration Watch.

-- By David A Nakamura

By Mike McPhate  |  November 20, 2008; 2:03 PM ET
Categories:  Congestion , Events , Metro  
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Why wouldn't Metro charge for parking and peak rates in exchange for peak service?

Why subsidize the travel of visitors when they come but charge residents higher rates for the same service?

If Metro is facing a shortfall it seems like a bad idea to be giving out discounts to people from out-of-town. It's not like the extra 30 cents will induce someone to drive downtown and try to find parking

Posted by: chris4096 | November 20, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

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