Metro News Release

For immediate release: February 22, 2012

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Metro announces a "spring break" from track work for Cherry Blossom season

Metro will take a break from its aggressive schedule of track work and rebuilding to accommodate customers traveling during Cherry Blossom season.

Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles announced the "spring break" from scheduled track work today. Specifically:

  • Beginning Saturday, March 24, there will be no scheduled weekend track work on the Metrorail system through Sunday, April 15. Weekend track work will resume at 10 p.m. Friday, April 20.
  • On weekdays, scheduled midday track work will be suspended between Monday, March 26, and Friday, April 13.
  • During Cherry Blossom season, all scheduled track work will take place after 10 p.m.

"Metro is the preferred travel choice for hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Tidal Basin each spring," Sarles said. "To ensure a seamless travel experience, we will take a short hiatus from our aggressive rebuilding efforts."

On average, Metro ridership increases by more than 15 percent during Cherry Blossom season, and weekend ridership can double to near-weekday levels if the weather is nice.

To accommodate the expected higher ridership, Sarles said Metro plans to add capacity during off-peak hours and on weekends by operating more 8-car trains. Metro also plans to provide additional customer service personnel at key stations near the Tidal Basin.

Customer Travel Tips

During Cherry Blossom season, customers can do their part to help ensure that their trip is pleasant by remembering the following travel tips:

  • Metro customers should expect more crowded trains and stations during Cherry Blossom season.
  • To avoid crowds, visitors are encouraged to travel during non-rush hour times and if possible, avoid traveling at the height of the afternoon peak period, from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • Customers who regularly use Smithsonian Station, which is the most frequently used station for tourists arriving at the National Mall, are urged to stagger their arrival and departure times for work or use L’Enfant Plaza, Archives, Federal Triangle or Union Station as alternate st ations during Cherry Blossom season.
  • Visitors are encouraged to buy a $9 Metrorail One-Day Pass for multiple trips. The One-Day Pass can be used for unlimited travel after 9:30 a.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.
  • Regular customers should allow extra time for travel.
  • For your safety, always stand back from the platform edge.
  • When boarding the train, please move to the center of the car to allow other customers to board.
  • When riding on escalators, please stand on the right.

News release issued at 4:02 pm, February 22, 2012.

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