Metro: Don't Ride, Walk---If You're Within 2 Miles of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20th
Here’s the latest from Metro on attending the inauguration festivities for President-elect Barack Obama: if you live or you’re staying within two miles of the Capitol, walk instead of taking the train.
“It will be faster than standing in line and trying to get on a train,” said Metro spokeswoman Candace Smith. That includes an area roughly bordered by the Woodley Park, Foggy Bottom, Navy Yard, Stadium Armory and Rhode Island Avenue stations.
With estimates of crowd attendance between 1.5 million and upwards to 3 or 4 million, Metro is warning of unprecedented crowds and lines. The agency is bracing for a crush on the rail system, meaning 120,000 people per hour on rail. Metro is opening early on Jan. 20 at 4 a.m. So by noon, crush loads for eight hours would mean nearly 1 million people, Smith said.
Even though Metro is encouraging riders to spread out their trips, few people are likely to be riding at 4 a.m. to get to festivities before the noon oath-taking.
“What do you think they’re going to do? Take the train at 9 a.m.,” she said.
Metro is also expecting thousands of tour buses — some estimates as high as 10,000 — and is trying to set up bus-only shuttle service to carry people from outlying areas to drop-off points near the Mall.
The transit agency is strongly recommending that people buy fare cards ahead of time. And large banners or signs have to be folded up or rolled to no greater than 18 inches by 18 inches
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