Metro News Release

For immediate release: March 30, 2010

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Expect crowded conditions on Metrorail for the Cherry Blossom Festival
Metrorail opens at 5 a.m. on Sunday, April 11, for Cherry Blossom 10-mile race

With the 2010 National Cherry Blossom festival underway, riders should expect very crowded conditions aboard Metrorail trains for the next two weeks and plan ahead by purchasing a SmarTrip card or a one-day pass prior to entering the Metrorail system.

Each year during the Cherry Blossom Festival, crowds increase, so commuters may want to build extra time into their daily commutes due to the larger than usual number of people using the Metrorail and Metrobus systems. It may be difficult to board crowded trains.

Metrorail will open two hours early, at 5 a.m., on Sunday, April 11, for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-mile race, which begins at 7:45 a.m., at West Potomac Park. The closest Metrorail stop is the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange Lines.

During the Cherry Blossom season, customers can do their part to help ensure that their trip is as smooth as possible by doing the following:

  • Avoid traveling during the peak commuter periods from 5:30 to 9:30 a.m. and from 3 to 7 p.m.
  • Regular commuters, especially those who work for the federal government and whose offices are in the vicinity of the Smithsonian Metrorail station, are urged to stagger their arrival and departure times from work to avoid the most crowded period in the rail system between from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Regular commuters are encouraged to use the L’Enfant Plaza, Archives-Navy Memorial, Federal Triangle and Union Station Metrorail stations, avoiding the Smithsonian Metrorail station, which is the most crowded station for tourists who are visiting the city.
  • Visitors are encouraged to buy the $8.30 One-Day Metrorail Pass, good for multiple trips. The One-Day Pass can be used after 9:30 a.m. on weekdays, and all day on weekends.
  • Visitors should buy a SmarTrip® card, which is used to pay the fares on Metrorail and Metrobus. SmarTrip® is the only way to pay for parking at most Metro-operated parking lots. Customers can pay for parking with Discover, Mastercard, Visa, American Express or Japanese Credit Bank credit cards at the Anacostia, Franconia-Springfield, Largo Town Center, Vienna/Fairfax-GMU, Shady Grove, Huntington and New Carrollton Metrorail stations. Visitors can purchase a SmarTrip® card from Metro’s Web site for $25 (with $20 of value on the card) or for $10 at any Metrorail station with a parking facility (with $5 of fare value on the card). SmarTrip® cards can hold up to $300 of fare value.
  • When traveling in the Metrorail system, please walk into the center of the rail car and do not stand in a manner that blocks others from entering or exiting the cars.
  • Adults are reminded to take special care of children accompanying them, especially when traveling in large crowds. Prepare beforehand the course of action you and your children will take if you become separated. Adults are also encouraged to advise their children to remain in the station where they are if they become separated from their parents, and seek assistance from a transit police officer or a station manager at the kiosk.
  • Patience and courtesy are essential when traveling during this time and throughout the tourist season; many customers will be first-time users of Metrorail and will need extra help in getting around the system.
  • All customers are reminded to be aware of their surroundings during this busy travel season, and to make sure their personal belongings or valuables are safe and secure when traveling on Metro. Keep electronic devices in pockets and out of sight of strangers as thefts of such devices are on the rise.
  • For safety reasons, customers should stand back from the platform edge as trains approach the station.
  • Prior to riding Metro, customers should visit the Metro Web site at www.metroopensdoors for information on Metrorail or Metrobus services and by checking to see when their next train or next bus is scheduled to depart from a train station or Metrobus stop.

The 98th Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival brochures are free and available at Metrorail stations. For more information on traveling by Metrobus and Metrorail, call (202) 637-7000, TDD (202) 638-3780, or visit Metro’s web site at www.metroopensdoors.com for safety and security tips.

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News release issued at 12:44 pm, March 30, 2010.


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