Metro says it will soon run more trains on weekends and hold off on track work to accommodate crowds for cherry blossom season.
The famous trees around the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, are expected to reach peak bloom later this month.
Metro will operate on weekend service levels for every weekend between Saturday, March 19 and Sunday, April 17, Metro said in a news release Monday. Trains will run every 10 minutes on the Red Line and every 20 minutes on all other lines.
In downtown, trains will arrive every 6 to 10 minutes, Metro said.
“Metro is one of the best ways to get around, and with a $2 flat fare for any one-way trip on weekends it’s even more affordable,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said.
In celebration of the 2022 National Cherry Blossom Festival, Metro said it will release a limited-edition SmarTrip card designed by Lea Craigie-Marshall, the official artist of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
The commemorative cards will be available in specially marked fare vending machines at Navy Yard and L’Enfant Plaza stations beginning Friday.
Visitors going to see the blossoms park for free at all Metro parking garages and lots, and travel on Metrorail for just $2 one-way no matter how far the trip, Metro said.
Metro gave the following tips for riders to avoid crowds and to make their trip smoother during the busy cherry blossom season:
- Weekday commuters should consider traveling during non-rush hour times when trains and stations are less crowded. Avoid traveling during the height of the afternoon peak period, from 4 to 6 pm
- On weekends, consider traveling on Sunday when trains are less crowded. On Saturday, if possible, travel before 10 am and after 6 pm to avoid the busiest ridership periods between 10 am and 2 pm and 4 and 6 pm
- Smithsonian Station is the closest station to the Tidal Basin and can become extremely busy. To avoid crowding, consider using L’Enfant Plaza or Federal Triangle instead.
- Avoid transfers. Except for the Red Line, the Tidal Basin is accessible on all lines without transfers.
- Blue Line Orange Line Silver Line Smithsonian, Federal Triangle, L’Enfant Plaza
- Yellow Line Green Line L’Enfant Plaza
- Due to the 7000-series railcar investigation, all trains are operating as 6-car trains. Make sure to move down the platform to board the train and don’t forget to use the first and last train cars, which tend to be less crowded.
- Avoid the wait at fare vending machines. Use Metro’s mobile pay options for Apple iOS or Android to purchase a SmarTrip card or transfer an existing card to a phone or mobile device and instantly add funds.
- Each passenger 5 years of age or older needs his or her own SmarTrip card. Be sure to load enough value on the card to pay for all trips you plan to take.
- As a reminder, under federal law masks are required when riding in trains, buses, MetroAccess vehicles and at indoor stations.