New Year’s holiday travel info

Tim Bracken,

Weekend Wakeup Call – Friday, Dec. 30 to Monday, Jan. 2

The holiday weekend will give us another short break from construction closures and Metro track work. Metro will run extra trains on Friday, Virginia will lift HOV restrictions on Monday, and SoberRide will offer free cab rides home for those who lack a designated driver.

Have a safe and happy New Year!

Metro holiday service information

From Metro: Extra trains will be running on Friday, for those planning to leave work early for the three-day weekend.

Metrorail and Metrobus service will operate on regular weekend schedules on Saturday, Dec. 31 and Sunday, Jan. 1. (Metrorail will remain open until 3 a.m. on New Year’s Eve.)

On the observed holiday — Monday, Jan. 2 — Metrorail will operate between 7 a.m. and midnight, and Metrobus service will operate on a Sunday schedule. No weekend track work is scheduled.

VDOT suspends most lane closures for holiday travel

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is clearing a path for travelers this holiday season by lifting lane closures over the New Year’s weekend.

VDOT will suspend lane closures from noon Friday, Dec. 30 to noon Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.

“We want everyone to arrive safely at their destinations during the year-end holidays,” said VDOT Commissioner Greg Whirley. “We are opening lanes where appropriate to increase lane capacity on our interstates and other major roads.”

“I encourage motorists to do their part to keep one another safe by obeying all traffic laws, staying alert and engaged behind the wheel and being courteous to your fellow motorists.”

While temporary work zones are lifted during the holiday period, VDOT is always prepared to mobilize in case of inclement weather. VDOT will monitor weather forecasts for any snow or ice that could affect travel over the holidays. Its offices and snow-removal equipment will be fully staffed in the event of any weather issues.

In addition, the Northern Virginia High Occupancy Vehicle Lane schedule is as follows:

The I-95/395 reversible lanes will be open to all traffic:

  • Southbound from 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30 until 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31
  • Northbound from 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31 until 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, when HOV-3 takes effect

HOV restrictions on I-95, 395 and 66 are lifted on Monday, Jan. 2

SoberRide free cab ride program

The 2011 SoberRide free cab ride program will be available nightly from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Jan. 1. The service is available for those over 21 who will not have a designated driver — You can call 1-800-200-8294, and participating companies will give you a ride home, up to a $30 fare.

You must be 21 or older to use the SoberRide service. All calls must originate in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland; the cities of Rockville, Bowie, College Park, Gaithersburg, Greenbelt and Takoma Park in Maryland; the District of Columbia; Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William and Eastern Loudoun counties in Virginia; and the cities of Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax, Manassas and Manassas Park in Virginia.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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