Metro to charge rush-hour fares, parking fees on Inauguration Day
Passengers to pay for parking, more for One-Day Passes on Inauguration Day
Metro will charge rush-hour fares and parking fees on Inauguration Day to help offset the cost of providing the extra service.
The transit agency’s Board today (Thursday, Dec. 18) approved charging rush hour fares based on projected demand.
“We are charging rush hour fares to meet an unprecedented demand for service,” said Metro General Manager John Catoe.
The transit agency will charge peak fares from the rail system’s 4 a.m. opening until 9 p.m. on Jan. 20. Metro’s commemorative One-Day Pass with a special Inauguration design will be sold for $10 online and $7.80 at Metro sales offices and fare vending machines. The cost of the passes will be $10 at all sales locations Jan. 20. And Metro will charge $4 for motorists to park in its lots.
“The additional revenue will not cover the costs of providing extra service for the Inauguration, but it will help,” Catoe said.
Metro has about 60,000 parking spaces in 29 lots and 22 garages throughout the Washington region. There will be charter bus parking only in parking lots at the Greenbelt, Van Dorn and Morgan Boulevard stations on Jan 20. Other lots will accommodate cars and charter buses at the Vienna, West Falls Church and Shady Grove Metrorail stations Inauguration Day to accommodate an estimated 1,200 charter buses. Charter buses will not be allowed to park in Metro lots or elsewhere in the District of Columbia unless they pre-register at www.clickandpark.com. Metro will collect a fee for charter buses to park at its lots. At least 40,000 spaces will be available for private motorists to park.
“We will arrange for people to pay with cash as they enter our parking lots,” Catoe said.
Metrorail is now extending rush hour service to 9 p.m. Inauguration Day. The transit agency will operate rush hour service for 17 consecutive hours (4 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and will stay open for two extra hours, until 2 a.m. Bicycles also will be prohibited on the rail system from Saturday, Jan. 17 through Tuesday, Jan. 20.
Metro does not yet have a final cost estimate for its Inauguration-related service, but transit agency managers anticipate increased maintenance, electricity and overtime costs. The transit agency plans to request the Federal government reimburse Metro for additional expenses to provide service during Inauguration Weekend.
Metro is encouraging people who plan to take Metro to Inauguration events to purchase multiple commemorative One-Day Passes, commemorative farecards and SmarTrip cards in advance to avoid long lines at fare vending machines. Each One-Day Pass is good all day long for each day of the four-day holiday weekend.
“If you are an area resident who frequents Metro, you get a ‘local’ discount by being able to purchase a One-Day Pass between now and January 19 for $2.20 less than those who are just arriving to town on January 20,” Catoe said. “My advice to you is to purchase that One-Day Pass in advance. Save yourself money and save yourself a lot of time by not needing to wait in an extra line on Inauguration Weekend.”
The commemorative paper farecards are expected to be in vending machines by late December. The $10 commemorative SmarTrip card will be available in early January. One-Day Passes also can be purchased online and at Metro sales outlets. Metro also will be adding additional sales outlets in some stations on Inauguration Day.
Metro also is encouraging people to sign up for special e-alerts, dedicated to the Inauguration. They can do so on Metro’s Web site at http://www.wmata.com/inauguration.
E-alerts will be issued when Metro has news relating to service throughout Inauguration weekend.
News release issued at 1:25 pm, December 18, 2008.