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Metro has posted some information about how it plans to handle Opening Day at Nationals Park on March 30, and the Mass by Pope Benedict XVI on April 17. (This document comes from the agenda for its March 13 Customer Service, Operations, and Safety Committee meeting.) Some highlights, above and beyond the we've-put-up-a-web-site-and-printed-brochures bullet points:
* Metro is expecting 24,000 fans to come via Metro for Opening Day (21,000 of them via the Navy Yard station), and 26,000 Mass attendees. They also expect 60 percent of baseball fans to arrive via Metro during the season.
* The Opening Day plan includes the newly enhanced N22 bus service, 18 extra pre-and post-game trains (mainly on the Green line), extra eight-car trains (perhaps up to every third train), and converting the Navy Yard Station to "one-way" traffic. (I presume this means for pedestrians, though I'm not sure if this means that *no one* can enter/exit the station against the flow before and after the game.) The fact that this first game is on a Sunday night is allowing Metro and the city to avoid a possible complete meltdown of the transportation network that might happen if it occurred during an evening rush-hour.
* Because Mass attendees must be through security and into the park by 9 a.m., Metro expects the largest crushes of travel to be between 5 and 8 am (the height of the morning rush hour) and again post-Mass. All available extra trains will be used when the Metrorail system opens at 5 am, and there will be 18 extra trains after the Mass ends. And, again, the document says that the Navy Yard Station will be converted to "one-way," which ought to be interesting for the commuters trying to use the station to get to and from work during this Thursday event. And the dreaded phrase "Rolling Street Closures" is mentioned for Pope Day, in that it might affect bus routes coming into the neighborhood. If there were ever a day for Near Southeast residents and workers to telecommute....
With the uncertainties about how fans and the transportation network will handle the crush of getting to the new ballpark for the first time, and with the president expected to throw out the first pitch, the Nationals are opening the gates at 3:30 pm on the 30th, 4 1/2 hours before the 8:05 pm start time. I've been told that they've acquired more than 50 magnetometers to try to lessen the burden of passing 41,000-plus fans through security, but if you're going to the game, you might not want to show up at 7:55.
UPDATE: For more, see this Tuesday entry on additional news on Metro's plans.
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uniongirl says: (3/10/08 11:19 AM)
Just read the Metro plan and the Papal mass day doesn't seem to even take into consideration that there are people living here. How are we getting to work that day?


rc says: (3/10/08 12:06 PM)
I do not have high hopes for Metro pulling this off well. I use the Navy Yard station daily and it's less than ideal on a good day. Any of the routine train malfunctions leads to a nearly full platform and this is just normal rush hour. The safe bet is, it's going to be a huge mess. Toss is a good chance for some manner of train defeciencies and it will be fodder for editorials for awhile.
As a dailt Metro patron, I have little confidence in it's ability to operate without daily breakdowns which have been the norm for me over the past 4+ years using the system.
As a daily Navy Yard patron for almost 2 years, I do not look forward to the gauranteed troubles that await us.
As far as the 'One Way' use, would that not mean that they open one exit to inbound and one exit to outbound?


uniongirl says: (3/10/08 1:42 PM)
One-Way use should mean that all the escalators go one way. Now, we could have elevator access if operational. I'm worried about both, going to CHT and coming from CHT in the morning. In fact, I'm so worried right now, I asked to work from home that day. I'd rather Metro work it out and iron out all the bugs before I step onto the platform and hope for a train.

I hope all of this isn't just wishful thinking and they iron out the bugs quickly.

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