WASHINGTON – Metro will halt track work and add extra trains to handle the crowds this Fourth of July.
Metrorail will operate from 7 a.m. to midnight on the nation’s birthday and will offer service levels similar to the rush hour from 6 p.m. to midnight to accommodate the heavy traffic.
In addition to the 9:10 p.m. fireworks display on the National Mall, the Washington Nationals play at home during the day. And more than 500,000 people are expected to travel on Metro to holiday events throughout the region.
No track work will delay riders or trains and all stations will be open. However Smithsonian Station will be entry-only after the fireworks end.
Riders are encouraged to avoid transferring once inside the system to avoid crowded transfer stations. And riders will not be allowed to bring bicycles or large coolers on Metro trains.
“We start out running a Saturday service. But as you get closer to late afternoon, early evening, we get to almost full rush hour service. But only so many can fit through the station at once,” says Metro General Manager Richard Sarles.
Sarles encourages riders to purchase their fare card in advance to avoid long lines at the fare machines. And choose a station a little further from the National Mall to avoid crowded platforms and escalators.
“Walk down from Gallery Place or L’Enfante Plaza or even frankly Metro Center. It’s not that long of a walk,” he says.
Alternate stations include:
Metro has posted more details and fare information for the holiday on its website.
WTOP’s Ari Ashe contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.