Columbus Day brings lots of commuting changes

A Metro train departs the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — The busy Columbus Day weekend included the start of the Nationals’ playoff run and brings a number of changes on the roads and rails.

Columbus Day

Since it is a federal holiday, HOV rules do not apply Monday on the Interstate 66 or Interstate 395 HOV lanes in Virginia. The rules always apply in the tolled Express Lanes on the Beltway and Interstate 95 in Virginia for drivers who want to ride free. Reversible roads such as Rock Creek Parkway and Canal Road also remain in weekend configurations.

The Metrorail system is scheduled to open at 5 a.m. Monday and close at the new weeknight closing time of 11:30 p.m. Trains are scheduled every 12 minutes on each line.

Metro charges off-peak rail fares on federal holidays, and parking at Metro lots is free. MetroAccess subscription trips are canceled, so riders who still want to travel must book Monday trips separately.

There is no VRE service on Columbus Day. Commuter rail riders with multi-ride tickets can use available Amtrak trains by purchasing a $7 “step-up” ticket.

MARC trains run on a limited “R” schedule on all lines on Columbus Day. The last train from Washington to Baltimore Penn Station departs at 7:45 p.m. The latest Brunswick Line train for riders traveling west of Brunswick departs at 4:25 p.m. The last Camden Line train to Baltimore departs at 6:55 p.m. Connecting bus services such as Frederick TransIT’s Meet-the-MARC adjust schedules to match the trains that are running.

Loudoun County commuter bus service runs on a limited schedule Monday.

PRTC OmniRide does not run at all Monday, but local bus service does operate. Maryland’s MTA Commuter Bus service does not run either, except for the No. 201, which runs on a holiday schedule.

Metrobus runs on a Saturday Supplemental schedule, and a number of other local bus services across the region run on regular schedules, except for routes that mainly serve government offices.

Ride On in Montgomery County runs on a weekday schedule; Fairfax Connector runs on a holiday weekday schedule; Alexandria’s DASH runs on a Saturday schedule; Arlington’s ART runs limited Saturday service; Prince George’s County’s The Bus runs a regular schedule except for the No. 51, and Fredericksburg Regional Transit does not run VRE Feeder Bus service or the Stafford Commuter Lot Shuttle Monday.

Columbus Day parking

On the holiday, D.C. parking regulations are generally not enforced. That means drivers do not need to pay for parking meters or worry about residential parking restrictions. Parking restrictions do still apply along the H Street NE corridor for the DC Streetcar.

In Alexandria, parking meters, residential restrictions, and time limits on street parking are also not enforced Monday. The city reminds drivers that no-parking zones, handicapped-parking rules and temporary no-parking signs still apply.

Parking meters are also not enforced Monday in Arlington; however, Columbus Day is not an official county holiday in Montgomery County, so drivers there do need to pay for metered or public garage spaces and must observe residential parking rules.

Other road closures

In Howard County, pipeline repairs will close all lanes of Md. 108 (Old Annapolis Road) in Columbia from Friday night at 9 p.m. through early Monday morning. The detour around the closure at Centre Park Drive will take drivers on Md. 104 (Waterloo Road) to Md 100 to U.S. 29 (Columbia Pike) and back onto Route 108.

In Montgomery County, work on the Seminary Road Bridge over the Capital Beltway begins this week. That work, due to last more than a year, will include long-term lane closures on Seminary Road and overnight weekend closures of multiple lanes on the Beltway. The State Highway Administration had originally planned to completely shut down the bridge, but opted for the $6.2 million rehab project instead due to complaints from neighbors who would have lost a route over the Beltway for months.

“Equipment used for construction may be disruptive,” the administration said in a statement.

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