Inauguration Metro Crowds: D.C. Transit Agency Running 17 Hours Of Rush-Hour Service (UPDATED)

Packed To The Gills

WASHINGTON -- Four years ago, celebrants who turned out for President Obama's first Inauguration pushed D.C.'s Metro system to a new ridership record -- more than 1,120,000 rail trips and 423,000 bus trips.

Although not as many people are expected to turn out this time around, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has been planning for hundreds of thousands of people on Inauguration Day for months.

On Monday, there will be 17 hours of rush-hour Metrorail service, from the 4 a.m. opening until 9 p.m., with rush-hour peak fares in effect. Rail service will continue until 2 a.m. Tuesday with off-peak fares being charged.

Three stations -- Smithsonian, Archives and Mount Vernon Square -- will be closed on Inauguration Day. Major transfer points are anticipated to be crowded, as will stations closest to security checkpoints for the ceremony, including Capitol South, Federal Center SW, L'Enfant Plaza, Judiciary Square and Union Station.

Metro did not report any significant delays or disruptions on the rail system Monday morning. Trains and station platforms were crowded, especially in the downtown core and near the Capitol. In some instances, trains skipped stations with excessive crowding. Also, escalators were shut down at some stations to better accomodate Inauguration Day crowds.

Metro encouraged Inauguration-goers to avoid the core of the system and walk from stations farther out. Blue Line riders from Virginia, for instance, were asked to walk from the Arlington Cemetery station and across the Memorial Bridge toward the National Mall.

During the swearing-in ceremony, Metro reported a track problem near the Van Ness station that caused delays on the Red Line. After the swearing-in ceremony, Metro urged Inauguration goers to delay their return rail trips because of a disabled train that was causing big delays along the Blue and Orange lines between D.C. and Virginia.

Excessive crowding at Metrorail stations prompted transit officials to temporarily close entrances to many stations, including Foggy Bottom, Federal Center SW, L'Enfant Plaza and Metro Center following the swearing-in ceremony.

The delays lingered until about 3:15 p.m.

Metrobus ran run rush-hour service in the morning, but numerous routes downtown were disrupted and turned back at points outside the security perimeter.

There is no D.C. Circulator bus service on Monday.

Click here for Metro's Inauguration Day guide.

This post has been updated

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