WASHINGTON — Metro will reduce its hours Thanksgiving Day and have regular weekend track work Saturday and Sunday. But the biggest change riders need to plan for starts Monday, when the Yellow Line shuts down for two weeks.
Service at all stations on the Blue and Yellow lines will be half the usual scheduled level when people return to work after Thanksgiving, and trips for many Yellow Line riders will take longer than usual.
From Nov. 26 through the end of the day Dec. 9, crews will shut down the Yellow Line bridge over the Potomac River to rebuild the concrete pads and other track support infrastructure.
In order to avoid closing any stations with the Yellow Line effectively erased from the Metro map, Metro is splitting the Blue Line during the work to have half of the trains go to Huntington and Eisenhower Avenue and half go to Franconia-Springfield and Van Dorn Street. There are no additional trains running at rush hour.
“There’s no other way around it when you’re dealing with a structure over the river,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said.
The work is all planned to be above the water.
The first day of each of Metro’s shutdowns has frequently proven to be the most confusing or troublesome for many riders.
“Our experience is that people [only] tend to pay attention to it right before it happens,” Wiedefeld said.
More shutdowns are planned for years to come.
The work also comes as construction has just gotten underway that makes it difficult to drop people off or pick them up at the King Street Metro station, where the two lines come together.
On Thanksgiving, there is no scheduled track work.
Metro trains and buses will run on Sunday schedules, and all MetroAccess subscription trips are canceled.
Trains will run only during Sunday rail hours, which are now 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. On the holiday, Metro will charge off-peak fares and parking at Metro lots will be free.
Black Friday service
On Friday, Metro will run a regular weekday schedule with normal fares and parking rates. There is no scheduled track work.
Saturday and Sunday service
On Saturday and Sunday, trains on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines are scheduled only every 24 minutes each.
The Blue and Silver Lines will single-track between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road. Yellow Line trains are also cut back to run only between Huntington and Mt. Vernon Square rather than all the way to and from Fort Totten.
Red Line trains are scheduled every 20 minutes with single-tracking between Farragut North and Judiciary Square. Some additional trains are scheduled during the day between Shady Grove and Farragut North.
The last train toward Glenmont will leave 18 minutes earlier than usual on Saturday and Sunday nights.
There is no work scheduled on the Green Line.
Getting to and from trains, planes
Increased traffic is expected around the region’s airports through the end of the day Monday, so airports officials advise leaving extra time no matter how you are getting to or from the airport.
Since the Metro stop at Reagan National Airport is going to be open Monday, but with less service, traffic problems of the scale seen Veterans Day weekend are not expected.
Metro remains the best option for many people heading to or from Reagan National at most times, even considering extended waits.
To and from Dulles International Airport, the express Metrobus 5A stops at L’Enfant Plaza, Rosslyn, Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride and the airport. Additional Fairfax Connector buses ($2) or airport express ($5) buses run between the end of the Silver Line at Wiehle-Reston East and the airport.
Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights before Thanksgiving, Metro plans single-tracking after 10 p.m. on all but the Green Line, with Silver Line trains cut back to run only between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston.
To and from BWI Marshall Airport, Metro’s B30 express bus to and from Greenbelt Metro runs only Monday through Friday now, and does not run on the Thanksgiving holiday.
MTA Maryland Commuter Bus and MARC or Amtrak trains are alternatives to reach the airport. Trains are typically particularly crowded on the Wednesday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.
To reach Union Station, Metro’s Red Line or a variety of bus routes are likely the best bet.
MARC Penn Line and Amtrak riders can also board most trains at New Carrollton.
Other transit service changes Thanksgiving, Black Friday
There is no MARC service on Thanksgiving Day. The day after Thanksgiving, there is no Camden or Brunswick Line service, but the Penn Line runs on an “R” schedule.
Virginia Railway Express also does not run on Thanksgiving. Both VRE lines run the day after Thanksgiving though on an “S” schedule.
Many commuter bus services run special “early out” schedules the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
Maryland’s MTA Commuter Bus does not run either Thanksgiving Day or the day after Thanksgiving, with the exception of Route 201, which has a weekend/holiday schedule between Gaithersburg and BWI Marshall Airport and Rail Station.
Frederick, Maryland, TransIT does not run on Thanksgiving or the day after Thanksgiving. Fredericksburg Regional Transit does not run Thursday or Friday either.
Loudoun County Transit also does not run on Thanksgiving but runs a reduced schedule the day after Thanksgiving.
PRTC OmniRide does not run on Thanksgiving, but runs regular Friday service the day after Thanksgiving.
Arlington’s ART bus runs a reduced holiday schedule both Thursday and Friday, with only routes 41, 42, 43, 45, 51, 55 and 87 operating.
Fairfax Connector runs a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving, and a holiday weekday schedule the day after Thanksgiving.
Montgomery County’s Ride On also runs a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving.
Prince George’s County’s The Bus does not run on Thanksgiving, but most routes do run the day after Thanksgiving. Route 51 to the County Administration Building and courthouse does not run Friday. Prince George’s Call-A-Bus does not run Thursday or Friday.