Metro Means 'One Day' on Inaugural Pass
During our online discussion Monday about holiday travel (thanks for inviting me to join in, Flight Crew), one reader asked a question about traveling to the presidential inaugural in January by Metro. I thought I'd answer that here.
"Washington, DC: I am confused by something from Metro's FAQ: 'Off-peak fares will be charged all day. Metrorail's One-Day Pass, available for $7.80 each day, will be valid throughout the four-day Inauguration Weekend.'
"Does this mean that a single day pass can be used for all four days? If so, that's a real deal."
Metro doesn't have that kind of revenue to throw around.
You can use the pass on any one of the four days, says Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel, but that's it. They are time coded. For example, if you use a card on Saturday it will not be good for Sunday.
The phrasing that confused the reader has to do with the one-day pass system. On weekdays, a one-day Metrorail pass is good after 9:30 a.m. On weekends and most holidays, they can be used all day. Metro wants you to know that for the four-day inaugural weekend, a one-day pass will be good all day on any of the four days.
The transit authority has been very good about publicizing its plans for inaugural weekend service.
Besides the FAQ page mentioned above, you'll find a lot of information and links on Metro's main inaugural page. Note that you can sign up for special e-mail alerts with updates about transit plans for inauguration time.
Other good sources of updates are the Inauguration Watch blog here on the Web site and The Post stories that Lena Sun is writing. Today, she wrote about Metro's recommendation that people within a couple of miles of the mall walk down to the inaugural festivities rather than try to board jampacked trains.
While I have trouble believing the high-end predictions on the inaugural crowds, I wouldn't try to reach the closest-in stations on Inauguration Day.
My hope is that planning for the biggest crowds will prove to be prudent, but unnecessary. The exercise could prove similar to that undertaken by Metro and the District Department of Transportation before Nationals Park opened this year. They planned transportation and parking based on the idea that each game would be a sellout. That proved not to be the case, but the preparations paid off.
November 25, 2008; 12:15 PM ET
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Posted by: ah___ | November 25, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse
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