Advisory

Posted: Sep 23, 2015 Expiration: Sep 24, 2015

Pope Francis Visit to D.C. Travel Information

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Metro is preparing for large crowds and traffic detours during Pope Francis’ three-day visit to Washington, D.C. Tuesday, September 22 through Thursday, September 24. Here are specific details on service information during the visit, for every passenger:


Service

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015

  • Hours: Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. and close at midnight.  
  • Fares: Normal weekday fare policies in effect (Peak fares are charged from opening until 9:30 a.m. and between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. All other times are off peak.)
  • Parking: Regular rates apply at all Metro-operated facilitiesParking facilities may reach capacity earlier than normal. Have a back-up plan in the event your parking facility is full.
  • Stations: All Metrorail stations will be open; however, selected station entrances may be closed due to security needs.
  • Regular rush-hour train service during the AM and PM commute.
  • Additional train service during midday and late evening hours. There will be no scheduled track work on any rail line, and trains will run at near rush-hour service levels during midday and late evening hours to provide additional capacity for riders. It is not possible to add trains during rush hours, as every available car is already being used for service. As a result, the system is expected to be extremely crowded during the traditional rush hour periods.
  • Metrobus will operate on a regular weekday schedule, including all DC public school trips. Riders should expect detours and delays on all routes serving Downtown DC.
  • MetroAccess will operate on a regular schedule with detours, delays and service adjustments as a result of Papal events and associated road closures. MetroAccess customers should allow extra time due to increased traffic if traveling during the Papal visit.  Door-to-door service may be limited near Papal events. To cancel a non-essential trip, call 301-562-5360 or visit wmata.com/metroaccess. For updated service information, sign up for MetroAlerts email and text messages at wmata.com/metroalerts.

 Brookland Station

  • To support the expected 25,000 guests arriving for Mass at the Basilica on Wednesday afternoon, Brookland Station may be designated “exit only” prior to the event and “entry only” following the event (exact times TBD)
  • Due to capacity issues at Brookland Station, riders may wish to consider using two adjacent stations: Rhode Island Avenue and Fort Totten. Rhode Island Avenue is about a 1 mile (20 minute) walk to Brookland; Fort Totten is about 2 miles (35 minutes) away. DC Circulator will offer limited bus service between the stations and the event (fare $1 each way). You can also take Metrorail to Columbia Heights (Green/Yellow lines) and transfer to an H3 bus for service to the Brookland area.

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015

  • Hours: Metrorail will open at 5 a.m. and close at midnight. 
  • Fares: Normal weekday fares in effect. (Peak fares are charged from opening until 9:30 a.m. and between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. All other times are off peak.)
  • Parking: Regular rates apply at all Metro-operated facilities. Parking facilities may reach capacity earlier than normal. Have a back-up plan in the event your parking facility is full.
  • Stations: All Metrorail stations will be open; however, selected station entrances may be closed due to security needs.
  • Regular rush hour train service during the AM and PM commute.
  • Additional train service during midday hours. There will be no scheduled track work on any rail line, and trains will run at near rush-hour service levels during midday hours to provide additional capacity for riders. Riders should note that it is not possible to add trains or cars during rush hours, as every available car is already being used for service. As a result, the system is expected to be extremely crowded during the traditional rush hour periods.
  • Metrobus will operate on a regular weekday schedule, including all DC public school trips. Expect detours and delays on all routes that travel near the U.S. Capitol (morning event) and Gallery Place (afternoon event). 
  • MetroAccess will operate on a regular schedule with detours, delays and service adjustments as a result of Papal events and associated road closures. MetroAccess customers should allow extra time due to increased traffic if traveling during the Papal visit.  Door-to-door service may be limited near Papal events. To cancel a non-essential trip, call 301-562-5360 or visit wmata.com/metroaccess. For updated service information, sign up for MetroAlerts email and text messages at wmata.com/metroalerts.

Travel Tips

  • Use SmarTrip and buy your fares in advance. The single best piece of advice is to ensure that everyone riding Metro during the Papal visit has their SmarTrip card purchased and loaded with value in advance. Expect long lines at fare machines during the Papal visit. Determine your fare by using Trip Planner, and order online
    If traveling in a group, consider buying in bulk. For information about bulk SmarTrip sales, call (202) 962-5700
  • Prepare for crowds. Pope Francis’ visit is expected to draw up to several hundred thousand people at various events throughout his visit. Be prepared for long lines, full trains and the possibility of intermittent delays as Metro safely serves travelers to the Papal events as well as other riders.
  • Consider walking. Washington is a walkable city. During Pope Francis' visit, consider avoiding crowded stations and trains by walking from alternate stations to reach your destination.
  • Travel light. Customers are discouraged from bringing large coolers or other bulky items aboard trains.
  • Smoking, eating and drinking are prohibited within Metrorail stations or aboard trains.
  • If traveling with a stroller: Use the elevator, not the escalators.
  • Stand back from the platform edge for your safety.
  • Do not hold the train doors. They do not operate like elevator doors and will not automatically reopen.
  • When boarding the train, step all the way into the car to make room for passengers boarding behind you.
  • On Metrorail, it is customary for riders to stand to the right while using escalators.
  • Parking: Lots and garages at end-of-line stations are expected to fill up much earlier than normal and possibly be full shortly after Metrorail opens. Consider garages at West Falls Church, Huntington, Suitland, Southern Avenue, Anacostia, Addison Road, Landover, College Park, Prince George’s Plaza, Wheaton, Twinbrook, White Flint and Grosvenor as your first choice as they generally don’t fill up as quickly. Metro-operated lots and garages only accept SmarTrip and credit cards for payment.  Charter buses may not pick-up, drop-off or park at Metrorail stations for this event.
  • Capital Bikeshare will offer unlimited bike parking for Bikeshare bikes at or near many Papal evevnts. Get more information at capitalbikeshare.com

Safety & Security

  • For your safety, any bag, package or container carried into the Metrorail system may be subject to random, non-invasive security screening by Metro Transit Police.
  • Bicycles and large coolers will not be permitted on Metrorail on Wednesday, September 23, or Thursday, September 24.
  • Prohibited items at many events include selfie sticks, alcohol, bicycles, explosives/fireworks, glass containers, chairs, coolers, animals (except service animals), weapons, and more. Be sure to check the event website for a complete list. If in doubt about whether an item will be permitted, it is best to leave it home.
  • See something suspicious? Say something! Report suspicious activity or unattended items to Metro Transit Police. Call 202-962-2121 or text MyMTPD (696873). 

For more information

 

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