Traveling to the Cherry Blossoms
Metro is preparing for the upcoming tourist season, with a spring break from daytime track work over the four weekends of the 2018 Cherry Blossom Festival.
Visitors attending the National Cherry Blossom Festival will enjoy four consecutive weekends free of daytime track work from Saturday, March 24, through Sunday, April 15, when weekend ridership can nearly double. Normal weekend service will run on all lines throughout the day and evening hours. Metro may schedule some track work after 10 p.m. when ridership is extremely light.
On weekends, lower off-peak fares are in effect all day.
On Saturdays, a $2 parking fee is charged for vehicles parked at Metro garages and lots. The fee is charged as you exit the facility. To pay for parking using a SmarTrip® card, please use a station vending machine to add value for the parking fee ($2). Individuals who park at a Metro facility but do not use the rail system may be charged a higher fee at selected lots. Debit/credit cards also are accepted; however, the lower rider parking fee is available only with a SmarTrip card.
Limited-edition SmarTrip cards to commemorate the 2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival are now available. The card features an iconic image of the Tidal Basin with cherry trees in peak bloom. Customers can purchase the commemorative card while supplies last from specially marked fare vending machines at all 91 stations. Cards may also be purchased at Metro's sales office located inside Metro Center near the 12th & F Street entrance and online here. Only 200,000 Cherry Blossom cards were produced.
During the busy Cherry Blossom season, riders can enjoy a more pleasant trip by remembering the following travel tips:
- Trains and stations are more crowded during Cherry Blossom season. On weekdays, visitors are encouraged to travel during non-rush hour times, if possible, and try to avoid traveling at the height of the afternoon peak period, from 4 to 6 p.m.
- Smithsonian Station can become extremely busy with visitors at this time of year. Regular riders who commute to or from Smithsonian may wish to consider L'Enfant Plaza, Archives, Arlington Cemetery or Federal Triangle during Cherry Blossom Season.
- Avoid potentially long lines at vending machines by loading enough value for your entire roundtrip, in advance, on your SmarTrip card.
- Visitors can purchase an unlimited One-Day Pass ($14.75) for maximum convenience. The pass can be loaded onto any SmarTrip card, and can be used for unlimited rail travel on the day it is first used. Visitors can purchase an unlimited One-Day Pass for $14.75 in advance online or at any Metrorail station, local CVS or Giant food store.
- For your safety, always stand back from the platform edge.
- When boarding the train, please move as far into the car as possible to allow others to board. Do not hold or block train doors at any time.