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Inauguration Update: Metro Adds Late Night Service Monday

These updates could become a daily event. On Tuesday, Metro modified the times some downtown stations would be open on Jan. 20.

Today's update will tell you that Metro also has added late night service for Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, when there will be many parties in Washington related to the inauguration.

Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. Monday and close at 2 a.m. Tuesday. Then just two hours later, the trains will start running again at rush hour service levels for Inauguration Day. Once again, closing will come the following morning at 2 o'clock.

Many people were calling on Metro to add those Monday night-Tuesday morning service, but I'm not crazy about it. I thought Metro needed those extra hours to get itself ready for the unprecedented demands we'll put on it Tuesday.

Metro says the Hotel Association of Washington, D.C., will pay for the late closing on Monday night to accommodate people attending inaugural parties, as well as the workers staffing the events.

But they'll have to hurry home. Cars won't be allowed to enter Metro's parking lots after 11 p.m. Monday, and those still parked between 2 and 3:30 a.m. Tuesday may be ticketed and towed. The lots and garages will reopen at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday for the Inauguration Day crowds.

Also, Metro announced new plans to handle the crowds at some downtown stations on Tuesday by using an exit-only or entrance-only system at certain hours. You can read all the details at this link.

But I want to highlight this aspect: Five stations will be exit-only from 4 to 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 20. They are Federal Triangle, Federal Center SW, Farragut West, Capitol South and McPherson Square. Metro notes that they are within a 10-minute walk of other Metro station that will be open for entry.

This looks good. If the crowds are anything like what's predicted, they'll be way beyond your worst rush-hour nightmare. Separating the comings and goings should help. And it should mean that the escalators can be turned on to carry people up, instead of stopping them and using them as stairs.

You can find more inauguration updates today at Inauguration Central.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 14, 2009; 5:37 AM ET
Categories:  Inauguration , Metro  
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Next: Suburban Buses Announce Jan. 20 Plans

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