Metro plans station closings during inauguration week
Buses will detour around expanded security perimeter at the U.S. Capitol
Metro will close 13 stations starting Friday, Jan. 15 and continuing through Thursday, Jan. 21, the days around the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced Wednesday.
Eleven stations — including Arlington Cemetery — will be closed on Friday, and Metro Center and Gallery Place stations will be closed Saturday through Thursday. Other stations are in the District of Columbia, including: Farragut North, Judiciary Square, Union Station, Archives, Farragut West, Federal Center SW, Capitol South, Smithsonian, Federal Triangle. Trains will operate on a Saturday schedule, every 12 minutes on the Red Line and every 15 minutes on other lines, and will pass through closed stations without stopping.
Buses will operate on normal schedules except for Inauguration Day, when they will operate on a Saturday schedule. However, 26 bus routes will be detoured around the expanded security perimeter around the Capitol on Friday through Thursday.
After the Jan. 6 pro-Trump protests that led to a violent breach and takeover of the U.S. Capitol for several hours, security has intensified around the center of the federal legislature. According to news reports, the FBI issued a bulletin warning of armed protesters going to the Capitol and all 50 statehouses from Jan. 16-20, prompting greater caution in Washington and state capitals, including Richmond, where Virginia Capitol Police are working with Richmond police and Virginia State Police to enforce boundaries at the closed Capitol Square. Streets around the state Capitol will be closed Sunday and Monday, according to the Richmond PD.
While the U.S. House of Representatives debated and ultimately voted to impeach Trump a second time on Wednesday, hundreds of National Guard troops were stationed in the Capitol Visitor Center for several hours overnight and even slept on the marble floors of the Congressional Visitors Center.
According to The Washington Post, 15,000 National Guard troops will be on hand at the U.S. Capitol and other federal government buildings, along with thousands of police and tactical officers, led by the Secret Service in an unprecedented inaugural security effort. The high alert started six days earlier than usual, after authorities received numerous threats of violence by groups supporting Trump, Capitol Police leadership told U.S. House Democrats.
In a unified message released Monday, Gov. Ralph Northam, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan urged residents not to come to Washington for the inauguration. “There will be a transition of power, and we will work together, and with our partners in the federal government, to ensure the safety of the National Capital Region. Due to the unique circumstances surrounding the 59th Presidential Inauguration, including last week’s violent insurrection as well as the ongoing and deadly COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking the extraordinary step of encouraging Americans not to come to Washington, D.C. and to instead participate virtually.”