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Metro Prepares For Cherry Blossom Parade

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Guest MetroGreeting

With more than 100,000 spectators expected for the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade this Saturday, April 9, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) is preparing to carry large crowds to view this annual write of spring on the National Mall.


The parade begins at 10 a.m., and marches along Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th Streets. Patrons attending the parade are encouraged to use Metro and ride to the Federal Triangle Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange Lines and the Archives Navy-Memorial-Penn Quarter Metrorail station on the Green and Yellow Lines.


"Every Cherry Blossom season, Metro employees have worked diligently to ensure safe, reliable, and convenient service," noted Steven Feil, Metro's Chief Operating Officer for Rail. "The nice spring weather, along with the return of tourists, school spring breaks, and the cherry blossoms have all combined to bring record numbers of passengers to Metrorail over the last two weeks. In the last week alone, we have carried over 700,000 customers on three separate weekdays."


In order to accommodate the projected ridership on Saturday, Metro will operate six-car trains on all rail lines, and will have additional personnel to assist first-time users at several key downtown stations including the Smithsonian and Federal Triangle Metrorail stations. Metro will also have personnel hand selling SmarTrip cards at most of its end-of- the-line train stations and the Stadium Armory Metrorail station.


Several Metrobus routes will be affected on Saturday morning due to the parade, resulting in some bus rerouting. Customers traveling via Metrobus downtown may experience delays and rerouting during this special event.


The parade will affect the following Metrobus routes: 5A, 5B, 13, 32, 34, 35, 36, 52, 54, 66, 70, 80, P6, S2, S4 and V8. Metro hopes to restore normal service to these routes by 1 p.m.


For Saturday's event, customers can do their part to help ensure that their trip is pleasant by remembering the following travel tips:


All commuters should allow extra time for travel, and are reminded when traveling on Metrorail to please walk into the center of the rail car and not to block the rail car doors.


Patrons are encouraged to buy the $6.50 one-day Metrorail pass, the best bargain for multiple trips; the one-day pass can only be used after 9:30 a.m. on weekdays, and all day on weekends


Visitors can also buy a SmarTrip card, which is used on Metrorail, Metrobus, and is the only way to pay for parking at Metro-operated lots. Visitors can purchase a SmarTrip card from Metro's Web site for $25 (with $20 of value on the card) or for $10 at any Metrorail station with a parking facility (with $5 of fare value on the card). SmarTrip cards can hold up to $300 of fare value.


Parking is free at all Metro operated lots on weekends and holidays.


Adults are reminded to take special care of children, especially when traveling in large crowds. Prepare beforehand the course of action you and your children will take if you become separated. Adults are also encouraged to advise their children to remain in the station where they are if they become separated from their parents, and seek assistance from a transit police officer or a station manager.


All customers are reminded to be aware of their surroundings during this busy travel season, and to make sure their personal belongings or valuables are safe and secure when traveling on Metro.


For more information on traveling by Metrobus and Metrorail, call (202) 637-7000, TDD (202) 638-3780, or visit Metro's web site at www.metroopensdoors.com.

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