Metro's Parking Plans for Inauguration Day
Here are Metro's parking rules for Jan. 20, and no matter how bad it sounds, I still think that Metrorail is the best bet for getting to the inaugural or just getting to work on that busy day:
Car's won't be allowed to park at the Greenbelt, Morgan Boulevard, Van Dorn Street and Minnesota Avenue stations. They'll be reserved for charter bus parking, and these will be the only stations where the charters can park.
To prepare for Inauguration Day, all Metrorail parking facilities will close at midnight on Monday and will be cleared of vehicles in preparation for Inauguration Day. Cars parked in those spots after midnight will be ticketed and towed.
All the Metrorail parking areas will open at 3:30 a.m. on Jan. 20. Cars will be charged $4 for all-day parking on the way in. It's cash only. No SmarTrip cards or credit cards. At the end of your day, just go. The gates will be up.
For Charter Buses
Charter buses that want to park at one of those six Metrorail stations must register at www.clickandpark.com. If a bus arrives without the necessary registration, it will be turned away from the station.
For Car Drivers
Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. had originally planned for the Jan. 20 parking to be free for drivers. It would have been a real hassle for everyone at the end of the day when some visitors figured out right at the exit gate that they needed a SmarTrip card to get out.
But Catoe changed his mind on the charge last month when it became clear that Metro would need to get a contractor in to manage parking on Inauguration Day. The $4 -- the most that Metro can charge for parking without holding a public hearing -- will help defray the cost of the parking management, Catoe said.
In the weeks leading up to Inauguration Day, Metro is testing the ability of its power supply and its operators to handle more eight-car trains. It started last month on the Green and Yellow lines.
Today and Tuesday, there will be more eight car trains on the Blue and Orange lines during the peak periods. Then during the off peak times, all the trains will be eight cars long. On Wednesday and Thursday, Metro will do the same thing on the Red Line.
On the test days, all the trains -- no matter how long -- will stop at the ends of the platforms. An eight-car train fills the entire platform, so if the electronic message board on the platform is telling you an eight-car train is coming, remember that it's easier to get a seat if you're at waiting at one end or the other. (Many people haven't made the adjustment to the longer trains and tend to cluster in the middle of the platform.)
But if the electronic signs says a six-car train is coming on those days, that means it will stop farther up the platform than usual. So if you tend to wait toward the rear of the platform, you'll want to walk up a bit.
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