Metro to expand service on July 4 for National Mall fireworks display

Fireworks on the National Mall during the July 4, 2019 celebration. (AP/Jose Luis Magana)

Metro will offer expanded service on the Fourth of July to accommodate the planned fireworks display on the National Mall. The announcement came a day after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser urged residents and visitors to keep their Independence Day celebrations at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Though Metro said it expects crowds to be lighter this year compared to past years, the transit system said it would increase train frequency starting around 4 p.m. on July Fourth.

Trains will remain active past 9 p.m. at stations near the National Mall. The Arlington Cemetery station remains closed.

At the end of the ceremony, stations close to the National Mall will be open for “entry only” for 30 minutes. Those stations are:

  • L’Enfant Plaza
  • Smithsonian
  • Federal Triangle
  • Metro Center
  • McPherson Square
  • Farragut West
  • Foggy Bottom
  • Rosslyn
  • Farragut North
  • Gallery Place

In April, President Donald Trump said that he still wanted to go ahead with an Independence Day celebration on the National Mall despite the risks associated with the novel coronavirus. At that point, a White House spokesman said the event would be pared down compared to the robust event Trump requested in 2019.

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The usual music portion of the Fourth of July celebration will be pretaped, but the fireworks will be live, according to PBS earlier this week, which produces the “A Capitol Fourth” special.

Over the past three months, Metro has discouraged all but essential workers from riding public transportation due to the pandemic.

After 9 p.m. on July Fourth, other stations will continue to stay open in “exit-only” mode until all passengers are accommodated, Metro said in the news release Friday.

Remember that westbound Silver and Orange line trains at that time of day will be served by shuttle buses beginning at Arlington’s Ballston station.

Dan Friedell

Dan Friedell is a digital writer for WTOP. He came to the D.C. area in 2007 to work as digital editor for, and since then has worked for a number of local and national news organizations.

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