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Inauguration Transportation Plan Keeps Evolving

Either it keeps evolving or we just start to understand it better.

A few things that changed on Monday:
* Virginia officials announced they would provide some free bus services to Metro stations and Potomac River crossings. The plan sounds similar to the Maryland commuter bus program, only Virginia's will be free. (See details here.)
* The Mount Vernon Square Metrorail station will close at 7:30 a.m. next Tuesday, and the Judiciary Square Station will close at 4 p.m., because they're close to inaugural ball sites. The transit authority had planned to close only the Smithsonian and Archives stations. (See blog entry.)
* Extra B30 Metrobuses will run between BWI Marshall Airport and the Greenbelt Metro station from Friday through Wednesday. And 5A Metrobuses will operate a modified service from Rosslyn Metrorail station to Dulles Airport. The 5A normally stops at L'Enfant Plaza and Rosslyn stations, but will not stop at the Tysons-Westpark Transit Station or the Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride Lot from Friday through Wednesday.(See blog entry.)
*The Virginia Department of Transportation slightly expanded the hours HOV-2 will be in effect westbound on Interstate 66, the Dulles Connector Road and the Toll Road. It will be HOV-2 from 4 p.m. next Tuesday (not 6 p.m.) until 9 p.m. Wednesday. You read that right: 9 p.m. Wednesday. VDOT expects to be moving a lot of post-inaugural traffic out of Washington well into Wednesday.
* Virginia Railway Express announced that it still had reserved train tickets to sell and that addition to continuing sales by mail order it also would allow walk-in purchases at its headquarters in Alexandria from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until Friday. (See blog entry.)
* The Maryland Transit Administration adjusted the hours on its shuttle bus service between some park & rides and outer Metrorail stations. (See blog entry.)
* Security officials announced that people will be turned away from the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route once the crowd reaches the limit of safety, and that could happen well before the parade is scheduled to start, which is between 2:30 and 3 p.m. on Jan. 20. (See Post story. )

Then there are the things that we're starting to focus on as people as questions about their options:
* I-395 southbound and I-66 westbound will be open to private vehicles all day Tuesday.
* The inbound restrictions on private vehicles on those highways start at 3 a.m. next Tuesday and are scheduled to be lifted beginning at 7 o'clock that night.
* Some vehicles are exempt from the restrictions: buses, shuttle buses, emergency vehicles, taxis, for-hire limos, and for-hire car services.

There are likely to be more changes and clarifications right up through Inauguration Day and the Wednesday getaway day afterward. Metro had already made some modifications before this week, deciding to open up more parking for cars at the stations, charge $4 in cash for station parking, sell all day bus passes and extend peak rail service from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Stick with us right through Inauguration Day. And keep sending in questions or concerns to the blog or to my e-mail, drgridlock@washpost.com. Top concern the past few days: How do I get to or from Reagan National Airport? Basic answer is take Metro or take Route 1, but we'll look at that in more detail in an upcoming blog entry.

[Text Getthere to WPOST (97678) for a link to the Get There blog on your smart phone. You can also join us on Twitter, at twitter.com/drgridlock. Here's a link to Full Inauguration Coverage.]

By Robert Thomson  |  January 13, 2009; 7:52 AM ET
Categories:  Inauguration  
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