WASHINGTON - Metro is warning travelers there will be delays on the Fourth of July due to a reduced number of railcars available.
The agency says that capacity on Metrorail will be less than on previous Independence Days, so customers should be prepared for longer wait times that could last up to an hour.
Crowding could also be an issue once the firework display — on the National Mall — concludes.
Metro Transit Police may temporarily restrict entry to select stations experiencing excessive crowding to prevent unsafe conditions on the platforms.
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 27: A WMATA Metro Red Line Metro train pulls into Metro Center in Washington on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Officials are recommending riders consider taking advantage of restaurants and other attractions downtown and at the Wharf to allow crowds to subside. Metrorail closes at midnight which should give people plenty of time if they want to allow the crowds to clear before leaving.
The Mall side of Smithsonian will become "entry only" after 9 p.m. to accommodate increased traffic, however, it's recommended travelers avoid the Smithsonian station — which typically sees the most crowding.
Metro has listed the following stations as alternative convenient options:
- Foggy Bottom (may become ‘entry only’ after fireworks)
- Metro Center
- Federal Triangle
- Gallery Place
- Judiciary Square
- Union Station
- L’Enfant Plaza
- Capitol South
- Federal Center SW
- Arlington Cemetery (open until 11 p.m.)
Metro riders should also consider using Metrobus to get to and from Downtown D.C. but they should also expect detours and delays due to road closures around the National Mall. Strategic buses may be implemented on high-ridership routes to increase capacity as needed.
For additional details on Metro's plans for the Fourth of July visit wmata.com/service.