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VRE Plans Full Service, May Handle Bus Traffic

It appears the inauguration committee may have found one solution for the bus parking problem.

Virginia Railway Express spokesman Mark Roeber says they'll be running a full slate of trains on Jan. 20, and that inauguration committees may try to send inauguration-bound buses to VRE stations rather than into the district.

Inauguration Day service is a departure for VRE, Roeper said, which has a ridership mostly made up of federal workers. Many government offices will be shut down for Inauguration Day.

With a normal passenger capacity and a slightly rejiggered schedule, Roeber said VRE hopes to relieve some of the congestion inauguration planners are expecting to lock down the city Jan. 20.

Each station's parking should be able to accomodate 25-100 buses along with normal traffic, Roeber said, and the trains each hold 1,200 passengers. The inauguration-goers would be delivered to L'Enfant and Union Station, and trains would run a bit later than normal to get them back to their buses after the ceremonies and parade.

No additional service is planned for the days surrounding the inauguration -- which means no service that monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day -- and it hasn't been determined whether riders will need to reserve a seat in advance. Firmer plans are expected to be released late this week.

Maryland Transit Administration has no information available yet, but also is expecting to release plans late this week or early next week. MARC spokesman previously have said there likely will be extensive service.

Amtrak has not released any information, but recently told the New York Times that "18 Washington-bound trains on the Northeast Corridor are already sold out for the long weekend, and Amtrak is monitoring whether to add more trains to the schedule."

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  December 3, 2008; 12:25 PM ET  | Category:  Transportation
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