U.S. NEWS

D.C. To Shutter 13 Subway Stations As City Hunkers Down Ahead Of Inauguration

Officials are rolling out a slew of security measures for the U.S. Capitol area in preparation for the Jan. 20 event.

Thirteen subway stations in Washington, D.C., will close this weekend until after the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, local transit officials announced Wednesday.

The affected stations, which include some of the city’s busiest, like Union Station and Farragut North, are within a planned “security perimeter” that authorities are setting up in preparation for the Jan. 20 event. During the closures, trains will “pass through the closed stations without stopping,” the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said. 

It added that 26 bus routes will also be detoured around the security perimeter starting this Friday. 

Changes to subway and bus stops are part of a broader effort by officials to secure the city ― and the area around the Capitol in particular ― before Biden’s inauguration.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday that the deadly siege of the Capitol by Donald Trump’s supporters last week had significantly changed the city’s plans for the event. 

At least 20,000 National Guard troops will be deployed in the area, Bowser said. She urged out-of-town visitors to stay away until after the inauguration and encouraged residents to avoid downtown except for essential business. 

The entire National Mall will be closed on Inauguration Day and will only be accessible to members of the media and security personnel, The Washington Post reported Thursday. The Mall is typically where thousands of spectators gather to watch the event.

Citing recommendations by Bowser and other officials that visitors not travel to D.C. next week, Airbnb said Wednesday that it would cancel all reservations made in the D.C. metro area during inauguration week. 

Bowser said no decision had yet been made on whether hotels in D.C. would be made to close, but a local hotel workers’ union has called for all hotels in the D.C. region to “close ahead of inauguration, unless they are hosting security personnel.”

Hayley Miller contributed to this report.