The tourists come for the cherry blossoms and weekend Metro riders can reap the benefits.
Metrorail riders are about to receive their annual respite from weekend track work to accommodate the crowds of cherry blossom-seeking tourists.
All six lines will be mostly track work-free for five consecutive weekends beginning March 19-20, the transit authority announced on Tuesday.
“On these weekends, Metro may schedule track work after 10 p.m. on Sunday nights when ridership is extremely light. On March 19-20, Metro will single track at Glenmont Station on the Red Line; however, Red Line trains will continue to operate at regular weekend intervals,” according to a Metro press release.
Riders have gotten used to infrequent weekend service because of extensive track work, and many avoid the rail system entirely. Saturday ridership dropped 17 percent in the last quarter of 2015, according to a Metro document released in February.
But every spring now, riders are reminded what weekend service used to be like before Metro embarked on its multi-year, multi-billion dollar rebuilding program. Stations near the tidal basin are expected to be crowded for the blooming of the blossoms.
“Trains and stations are always more crowded during Cherry Blossom season. Visitors are encouraged to travel during non-rush hour times and avoid travelling at the peak of evening rush hour (4 to 6 p.m.) when trains are most crowded,” said the Metro press release.
“Avoid Smithsonian: Smithsonian Station can become extremely busy with visitors at this time of year. Consider L’Enfant Plaza, Archives, Arlington Cemetery or Federal Triangle stations instead.”
The full Metro announcement can be read here at WMATA.com.