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The weekend and beyond (holiday edition)

Happy holidays, travelers. I hope some of these tips will ease your journeys over the next few days and the rest of the holiday season.

The getaway
This afternoon and evening, commuter traffic will mix with holiday getaway traffic. The half day for federal workers is likely to put an early burden on the roads and rails. Get road updates here. The highway departments have suspended lane closures for the long weekend. Look here for my guide to alternative holiday getaway routes.

10 a.m. update: Beginning at 11:30 a.m., Metrorail will put five extra trains in service and Metrobus will supplement regular bus service at noon. Most of the additional service will be in downtown Washington. Metro anticipates bigger than normal crowds at lunchtime, because of the early release of federal employees for the holiday.

In anticipation of the early release of many employees, the Maryland Transit Administration has added some MARC trains on all lines. See details here.

The MTA also has adjusted its commuter bus schedule for Christmas Eve and for New Year's Eve. See details here.

Metro's Christmas schedule
-- On Thursday, Christmas Eve: regular weekday train and bus schedule. Metrorail opens at 5 a.m., closes at midnight and runs six-car trains.
-- Friday, Christmas: rail and bus on a Sunday schedule. Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. and close at midnight, running six-car trains.

D.C. Circulator
There will be no service on any of the Circulator routes on Friday, Christmas Day.

Full Christmas Day transit schedules
Metro has assembled a rundown of the region's transit schedules for Friday, including those of the suburban bus lines. See it here.

AFTER CHRISTMAS

Metro weekend track work
No weekend track work is scheduled for Christmas weekend, Dec. 25-27.

Metrobus route changes Sunday
Many routes across the region will experience schedule changes starting on Sunday. See details here on Metro's Web site.

Pennsylvania Ave. project starting
The District Department of Transportation is scheduled to begin construction on the Pennsylvania Avenue SE Great Streets project on Monday. See more details here. The work hours during this preliminary phase will be 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. This phase, which will last into the spring, will require single lane closures between 27th Street SE and Southern Avenue.

Metro's hours for New Year's
New Year's Eve, Dec. 31: Metrorail will operate on a weekday schedule, opening at 5 a.m., and staying open two hours late, closing at 2 a.m. All trains will operate with six-cars. Metrobus will operate on a weekday schedule and will also operate until 2 a.m. to make sure rail and bus passengers catch their necessary connections. MetroAccess will operate normally.

New Year's Day, Jan. 1: Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. and close at 2 a.m. All trains will operate with six cars. Metrobus will operate on a Sunday schedule. MetroAccess will operate normally.

D.C. Circulator holiday plan
Additional night service will be provided on New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, on the Georgetown-Union Station route and the Woodley Park-Adams Morgan-McPherson Square Metro route. Both routes will operate on a weekend schedule that night:

Georgetown - Union Station
Extended Night Service between Whitehaven and 17th and K streets NW from 9 pm to 2 am.

Woodley Park - Adams Morgan - McPherson Metro
Extended Service, from 7 am to 3:30 am.

New Year's Day
The Circulator will operate on its regular Friday schedule on Jan. 1.

Toll Road reminder
On New Year's Day, rates on the Dulles Toll Road will increase by 25 cents at the main toll plaza and 25 cents at the ramps. That means drivers will pay $1 at the main plaza and 75 cents at the ramps. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which controls the highway and is building the Metrorail extension through Tysons Corner to Dulles International Airport, approved the increase last month as part of the funding plan for the toll road and the rail line.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 24, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Events , Getaway , Metro , holiday travel , transit  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, The weekend and beyond  
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