Metro News Release

For immediate release: March 4, 2013

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Metro to pause rebuilding efforts for Cherry Blossom season

Metro today announced that it will take a break from its aggressive rebuilding efforts to accommodate customers traveling during Cherry Blossom season.

This year's break will take place over four consecutive weekends, beginning Saturday, March 23, and continuing through Sunday, April 14. The only planned weekend work during that time will take place late Sunday evenings, when ridership is light.

"While the work we do almost every weekend is necessary to get the system back to a steady state of safety and reliability, we are in a position where we can take a short break to let everyone enjoy the season," said Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles. "The spring break will give people an opportunity to experience the type of system we are working toward."

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.

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 stations during Cherry Blossom season.
  • Visitors can purchase a $14 Metrorail One-Day Pass for multiple trips. The One-Day Pass can be used for unlimited travel on the day it is first used.
  • If using a SmarTrip card, be sure to load enough value for your entire roundtrip to avoid long lines.  If using a paper farecard, remember to add $1 for each trip ($2 for roundtrip) to the applicable fare.
  • For your safety, always stand back from the platform edge.
  • When boarding the train, please move into the car and away from the doors to allow other customers to board.
  • When riding on escalators, please stand on the right.

News release issued at 4:01 pm, March 4, 2013.

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