Metro warns of lower capacity this July 4

If you’re planning to catch Fourth of July fireworks on the National Mall in D.C. Monday night, you might want to leave home a little earlier than you were planning.

That’s because Metro said its rail capacity will be lower than it typically is on July 4.

“That means customers should be prepared for longer lines to enter stations near the Mall after the fireworks, up to 60 minutes, and for crowding to occur,” said a Metro spokesperson.

Metro said transit police may temporarily block entry into stations to prevent unsafe crowding on platforms.

Metro also advises riders to avoid transferring between rail lines if at all possible because of the crowds, and to hold off on boarding a train after the fireworks are over.

“Delay post-firework travel to Metrorail stations if possible to allow crowds to disperse,” Metro said in a statement Wednesday.

The transit agency suggests you use a station other than Smithsonian, which usually experiences the worst crowding on July 4. (Note: The Mall side of Smithsonian will become entry-only after 9 p.m. to allow for exiting crowds.)

Some of its suggested alternatives: Foggy Bottom (which might become “entry only” after fireworks); Metro Center; Federal Triangle; Archives; Gallery Place; Judiciary Square; Union Station; L’Enfant Plaza; Capitol South; Federal Center SW; and Arlington Cemetery (which will be open until 11 p.m.).

One last thing: Make sure your SmarTrip card is all charged up, so you don’t have to wait in some monstrously long line at a fare vending machine.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer. In a previous life, he helped edit The Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune.

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