How to get around Wednesday while Metro shuts down

Riders sit in a Metro train in the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station. The rail system that serves the nation's capital and its suburbs will shut down for a full day Wednesday after a fire near one of the system's tunnels. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Riders sit in a Metro train in the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro station. The rail system that serves the nation's capital and its suburbs will shut down for a full day Wednesday after a fire near one of the system's tunnels. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

- The entire D.C. Metrorail system will shut down tonight at midnight, and it will stay closed for 24 hours as safety checks are conducted, the transit system announced Tuesday afternoon.

This action will leave many riders wondering how they should get around on Wednesday.

News of the planned system-wide shutdown comes one day after an early-morning cable fire in a tunnel near the McPherson Square station caused major service disruptions on the Blue, Orange and Silver Lines on Monday. Metro said the fire caused damage to the rail bed, and though the scene was cleared at around 6 a.m., it caused delays through the morning rush.

In case you are one of the many who rely on Metrorail to get to work, we’ve compiled a list of alternative ways to get around:

  • Metrobus and MetroAccess services will continue to operate on a regular schedule and will have additional buses running.
  • MARC Train and MTA Commuter Bus services plan to run on a regular schedule but service may be modified based on rail and road capacity issues.
  • Ride On will be operating their regular weekday service and will supplement it with the few additional buses that they have.
  • Uber recommends riders to use uberPOOL and share their trip with another rider and split the cost of the ride. Uber says it will be extending uberPOOL service to maximize every car in the D.C. area on Wednesday. Surge pricing will likely be in effect due to increased demand, but Uber says it will be capping surge during the shutdown. New users can enter promo code METRODC to get up to $25 towards a first ride.
  • Lyft arrivals may be higher than normal but they are doing everything they can to ensure there are plenty of drivers on the road. Passengers who are new to Lyft can use the code METROHELP for $20 off their first ride. They also encourage passengers to choose Lyft Line. Not only can they save up to 40% on their ride, they'll be matched with other passengers heading in the same direction, helping to reduce congestion during rush hour.
  • DC Circulator will be running and is free for riders on Wednesday. There will be additional service on three routes -- Georgetown to Union Station, Woodley Park to McPherson Square and Dupont Circle to Rosslyn, Woodley Park to McPherson Square and Dupont Circle to Rosslyn.
  • Capital Bikeshare is offering free 24-hour memberships at all 370 stations Wednesday and Corral Service downtown. Usage fees still apply.
  • DC Streetcar will be free to ride on Wednesday.
  • Taxi -- The DC Taxicab Commission says it is authorizing the Emergency Expansion of shared riding to allow multiple passengers to be picked up together.
  • Car2Go and Zipcar
  • MARC and VRE commuter train service
  • Fairfax Connector
  • Parking Panda -- For those thinking about driving to work, Parking Panda will help you book a guaranteed parking spot at a garage ahead of time.

Despite the announcement of the shutdown, federal agencies will remain open. However, employees will have the option for unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has also confirmed that parking will be free on Wednesday, 3/16 in all Metro-owned lots and garages for customers taking bus or carpooling.

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