Metro News Release

For immediate release: January 14, 2013

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Metro outlines final plans for Inauguration Weekend

Metro will operate for 22 hours on Inauguration Day, opening three hours early at 4 a.m. and remaining open until 2 a.m. From the time the system opens, trains will operate at rush-hour service levels for 17 consecutive hours, until 9 p.m., to accommodate expected crowds.

The following is a summary of Metro service plans for Inauguration Weekend 2013:

On Saturday, January 19:

  • Metrorail and Metrobus service will operate on a regular Saturday schedule.
  • Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. and close at 3 a.m. with no scheduled track work anywhere on the system.
  • Parking will be free at Metro-operated facilities, and off-peak fares will be in effect.

On Sunday, January 20:

  • Metrorail and Metrobus service will operate on a regular Sunday schedule.
  • Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. and close at midnight with no scheduled track work anywhere on the system.
  • Parking will be free at Metro-operated facilities, and off-peak fares will be in effect.
  • The only planned service change on Sunday will affect Judiciary Square Station, where the F Street entrance will close at 4 p.m. for the remainder of the day due to an event at the National Building Museum.  Customers will be able to enter and exit the station using the 4th Street entrance. Elevator service will remain available at all times.

On Inauguration Day, Monday, January 21:

  • Metrorail will open at 4 a.m. and close at 2 a.m.
  • Rush hour service will operate from 4 a.m. until 9 p.m. with peak fares in effect during that time. After 9 p.m., off-peak fares will be in effect.
  • The "Rush+" service pattern will not be in effect, and Yellow Line trains will operate only between Huntington and Gallery Place, due to an event at the Convention Center. View Metro service map for Inauguration Day.
  • Three Metrorail stations will be closed on Inauguration Day: Smithsonian, Archives and Mt. Vernon Square.
  • The four Metrorail stations closest to the Capitol should only be used by those with Inauguration tickets. They are: Union Station, Judiciary Square, Capitol South and Federal Center SW.
  • At Metro-operated parking garages and lots, standard weekday parking rates will be charged upon exit from the facility. The fee can be paid with value on a SmarTrip card or major credit card.
  • Metrobus service will operate a regular weekday schedule, with an early PM rush hour for the benefit of Inauguration attendees heading home after the ceremony and parade.
  • Several dozen Metrobus routes will be shortened due to road closures near the National Mall. Customers should check Metro's Inauguration Day map for special "turn back" locations in Downtown DC. Those customers traveling beyond the National Mall should use Metrorail to complete their trip.

Important Travel Tips for Inauguration Travelers

Download the Metro Inauguration Rider Guide (pdf)

  • Purchase a farecard or SmarTrip® card in advance for everyone in your group to avoid long lines on Inauguration Day. Each traveler age 5 or older will need his or her own card to enter and exit the Metrorail system. You can buy cards online at, regional transit stores or at any Metrorail station, Metro sales office or local CVS, Giant or Safeway stores. Be sure to load enough value on the SmarTrip® or farecard for your entire trip. To determine your fare, visit the station information page for your origin station. If you use a paper farecard, a $1 surcharge applies for each Metrorail trip you take.
  • Avoid transferring between Metrorail lines. There is a station near the National Mall on each of Metro's five rail lines. Use Metro's "Best Route" trip planner at to find the best station to use.
  • Sign up for Metro Inauguration Alerts at By email and text message, Metro will provide real-time updates of any service changes over Inauguration Weekend, as well as important news about traveling on Metro prior to the event. Customers can also follow Metro's special Inauguration Day Twitter account @MetroInaug.
  • Metro expects high ridership to Inaugural events. Be prepared for long lines, full trains and buses and the possibility of intermittent delays due to large crowds. Dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes.
  • Washington is a walkable city. On Inauguration Day, consider avoiding crowded stations and trains by walking up to two miles to reach your destination. View walking map. After the ceremony, consider lingering in Downtown DC until crowding eases.
  • Bicycles, large coolers or containers will not be permitted aboard Metrorail during Inauguration Weekend (Saturday through Monday). Prohibited items at Inauguration events include weapons, explosives, backpacks, laser pointers, alcohol, sticks and poles. For a complete list of prohibited items, check the website for your event. Also, smoking, eating and drinking are prohibited within the Metro system, including trains, buses and stations.

Metro Preparations

  • Metro's planning efforts for Inauguration Day began nearly a year ago and have included countless meetings -- both internal and with external partners including the United States Secret Service, Presidential Inaugural Committee, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, the District Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Police and others.
  • Over the past two months, Metro support departments have worked around the clock -- quietly, behind the scenes -- to perform hundreds of inspections of critical infrastructure, including power substations, signal system components, station equipment and railcars.
  • More than 200 of Metro's administrative employees have volunteered to serve as "Metro Ambassadors" on Inauguration Day. From departments that include Accounting, Planning, Human Resources and Government Relations, the Ambassadors will be available at Metro's busiest rail stations to assist visitors with purchasing fare media and finding their way. Customers will be able to identify Ambassadors by looking for their high-visibility reflective vests.
  • Metro Transit Police will augment their full compliment of officers with nearly 150 police officers from transit systems across the nation. The additional officers will go through a weekend of training and familiarization before being deputized to serve on Inauguration Day.
  • Metro will activate its Emergency Operations Command Center at 3 a.m. on Inauguration Day. The Center will allow high-level representatives from all mission-critical departments to share information in real time and to respond to any operational issues that may arise. Metro Transit Police will provide representation in the US Secret Service's Multi Agency Command Center, and Metro Media Relations staff will provide coverage in the US Secret Service's Joint Information Center.

News release issued at 2:37 pm, January 14, 2013.

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