WMATA Talks Inauguration

Photo courtesy of afagen
Working better to serve YOU, courtesy of afagen

Metro dropped a press release today outlining tentative plans for Inauguration Day.

That’s right, “tentative plans.” Since we still don’t have any official word on expectations (ranging from the FBI’s 800,000 to Mayor Fenty’s 4 million), it’s kinda useless to plan anything at this point. But I’ll give Catoe and Co. credit – at least they’re trying to do something about it.

I mean, it’s more important than escalator repair, right?

So according to the release, Metro will offer free parking all day and stations will be open from 4 a.m. to 2 a.m. on the big day. They’re already warning of long lines at stations – which, if you need some practice, I hear there’s drills going on at Foggy Bottom – and pushing the “stay downtown and eat, shop, be merry” aspect. As if smart residents aren’t already planning on that.

Actually, smart residents are most likely planning on bilking charging out-of-towners serious cash for housing and then heading out on a mini-vacation with that money. I know I would, if I dared to have a stranger staying in my new home for a few days. Which I’m not (so no emails asking!).

Also of note in the release is a “commemorative fare card” design, with decent card art – an instant collectible, I’m sure. They’ll also have an Inauguration Page set up on the web starting this Friday to provide updates and information. I can guarantee what the message on Jan 20th will be: “Significant delays at all Metro stations. Plan on adding 3 hours to your trip; if you’re using the Foggy Bottom station, bank on six.

Note that Archives / Penn Quarter station will be closed for “security measures” as well as one of the two entrances to the Smithsonian station.

Metrobuses will be operating on a Saturday schedule and Metrorail will be running at “rush hour service levels” from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. And I’m sure the rush hour fare will also be in effect, too. Ain’t that nice?

More info forthcoming, I’m sure, as actual official data from city and federal sources are released. I do know one thing after reading this: I’ll be telecommuting all week long.

Having lived in the DC area for ten years, Ben still loves to wander the city with his wife, shooting lots of photos and exploring all the latest exhibits and galleries. A certified hockey fanatic, he spends some time debating the Washington Capitals club with friends – but everyone knows of his three decade love affair with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A professional writer, gamer, photographer, and Lego enthusiast, Ben remains captivated by DC and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.

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4 thoughts on “WMATA Talks Inauguration

  1. Metro had better fix the escalators at the Capitol South station. Only 1 of 3 outside escalators is working. The middle one is undergoing rehabilitation and is scheduled to be back in January. Hopefully they can have it up and working in time for the inauguration.

  2. As convenient as Metro can be at times, to this I have to say…really. Closing stations and entrances nearest the Mall because crowds are coming? Buses on Saturday schedule? Where I live, that’s one or two an hour – if you’re lucky. Looks like a good day to bundle up for a bike ride or a long walk!

  3. Well, the station closings I understand – those two are most likely the closest to the parade route. I’m still boggled by the Saturday schedule, though – and chagrined that WMATA will be (most likely) charging rush hour fares all day long.

    Then again, I’m not planning to fight my way through it all, not even for what would be some excellent photos (even if just of the overcrowded Metro stations), so it doesn’t faze me much. Of course, nothing Metro does anymore, either…

  4. Even if they were running out of the Smithsonian stop, they would have to turn off the escalators. Have you even been on an escalator where the crowd at the bottom doesn’t move? An escalator is basically a conveyor belt for people. Imagine shoving more and more people off the bottom into an ever-more-packed crowd. Eventually something – or someone – is going to give.

    I don’t even want to imagine what happens on an over-crowded platform with trains coming through…

    Look at it this way – imagine if there was NO metro. Can you imagine traffic trying to get in and out of the city?