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Preparing For the Tricky Transfer

Hundreds of thousands of people will switch from one conveyance to another to reach inauguration ceremonies today. Connections are unlikely to be smooth. Here are some things to consider.

Parking. Even regular commuters may be parking at lots and garages they don't normally use. Look around before you leave the parking area to remember the vehicle's location. And at the end of this long day, don't forget where the bus dropped you off and which Metro station you used.

Train to train. VRE and MARC tickets don't cover a transfer to Metrorail or Metrobus. Get a Metro Farecard, SmarTrip or pass. Metrorail transfer stations such as L'Enfant Plaza and Metro Center will be extremely busy. Don't switch trains today if you can walk a few blocks to your destination.

Bus to bus. Metro ended the use of paper transfers on Jan. 4. The only way to get the free transfer is to use a SmarTrip electronic fare card or buy a $5 all day bus pass from the driver. Leave plenty of extra time to make connections. Traffic congestion and detours around closed streets will throw off many bus schedules.

Bus or train to foot. The closer you are to your destination, the more crowding and security concerns are likely to slow your progress. The station or bus stop that on a map looks the closest may not be worth the time and effort to reach.

Foot to bus or train. The farther you can walk once the ceremonies end, the better chance you have of avoiding congestion. Consider walking across the Memorial Bridge to Arlington Cemetery Metro station or the Key Bridge to Rosslyn Metro station.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 19, 2009; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Inauguration  
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