WASHINGTON, DC — The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced Wednesday that 13 stations will be closed in the days surrounding the Jan. 20 inauguration.
Metro cited an expanded security perimeter in the announcement of the station closures and other service changes. From Friday, Jan. 15 to Thursday, Jan. 21, the following stations will be closed: Farragut North, Judiciary Square, Union Station, Archives, Arlington Cemetery, Farragut West McPherson Square, Federal Center SW, Capitol South, Smithsonian and Federal Triangle. From Saturday, Jan. 16 to Thursday, Jan. 21, Metro Center and Gallery Place stations will be closed. Trains will pass through all the closed stations without stopping.
From Friday, Jan. 15 to Thursday, Jan. 21. trains will operate on a Saturday schedule. That means Red Line trains will run every 12 minutes, and other lines will run every 15 minutes.
In addition, 26 Metrobus routes will be detoured around the expanded security perimeter from Jan. 15 to 21. Metrobus will operate normal service on weekdays and weekends, except on Jan. 20. On that day, buses will operate on a Saturday schedule.
The changes come as officials urge residents to avoid downtown DC around Inauguration Day. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a joint statement urging Americans to avoid traveling to DC due to the COVID-19 pandemic and potential of violence after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
"We are working closely with our regional and federal partners to keep the public safe during this National Special Security Event and to discourage travel within the secure zone," said Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld in a statement. "While we are supporting law enforcement plans to enhance security, we are also keeping essential services in place for our residents who need to get to work, to medical appointments, and to grocery stores."
Metro's statement indicated additional station closures and bus detours could be implemented for security purposes. Riders heading through downtown DC are urged to plan for additional travel time due to detours and road closures around the security perimeter.