Metro to run weekend service for post-inauguration protests

WASHINGTON — Even with tens of thousands of people expected for protests, Metro plans to run regular weekend service the day after President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated.

The Women’s March on Washington has a permit for up to 200,000 people to meet near the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21, a number that Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said “should be able to be accommodated with regular service.”

With other protests planned that day too, Stessel said Metro could still boost service for Jan. 21 “if warranted.” But Metro is planning to run a regular Saturday schedule.

Organizers of the Women’s March said in an emailed statement that they are comfortable everyone attending the protest will be able to make it.

“We are satisfied with the plan in place but if anything changes we’ll be sure to adjust as needed,” the statement said.

Because of the long-expected influx of visitors inauguration week, no track work is planned. Trains are scheduled to run every 12 minutes or so on all lines on Jan. 21. Parking at Metro stations will be free, and Metro will charge off-peak fares.

Any significant change to the schedule would have to be made well in advance to allow for the right Metro staff and equipment to be in place.

Other options

Whether coming to D.C. for a protest or any other reason that Saturday, other options to avoid driving into the city include MARC’s weekend Penn Line service between D.C. and Baltimore, Amtrak trains or local or intercity bus services.

On Inauguration Day itself, Metro plans to open at 4 a.m. — one hour earlier than usual. Trains will run at near rush hour service levels most of the day with trains scheduled every 6 minutes on most lines. Riders will pay peak fares all day and Metro garages will charge for parking.

As has been the regular schedule since June, Metro will close at midnight both on Inauguration Day and the day after. That means the final trains of the night will leave stations at the end of the lines as early as 11:10 p.m.

Anyone attending the inauguration or any other events with large crowds that weekend might want to consider walking to Metro stations a few blocks away from the National Mall and to avoid transferring from one line to another when possible.

Metro also plans to run regular weekday service the Friday a week after the inauguration, when another large group will gather for the annual March for Life.

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