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VRE says no service for Obama's second inauguration

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Local,Virginia,Transportation,Kytja Weir

Virginia Railway Express will not offer service on Inauguration Day, the train service said Wednesday.

The commuter train service that shuttles riders from suburban Virginia into the District each weekday has provided special service for past inaugurations. But the agency told riders Wednesday in an online chat that it won't be running any trains, let alone extra service on Jan. 21.

"Last time, the estimates of people going to the city were so large but we do not expect the same numbers this time around," the service said.

The day is also the Martin Luther King holiday, a federal holiday when it normally would be closed.

VRE's counterpart in Maryland, MARC, has said it plans to run limited train service on its Penn Line for the event, charging the regular $7 fare for a one-way trip between Baltimore and D.C.

Metro, meanwhile, will be extending its hours, running from 4 a.m. until 2 a.m., and offering peak service for much of the day. It will be charging peak Metrorail fares until 9 p.m. and regular parking rates instead of the usual lower holiday rates and free parking.

President Obama's first swearing-in drew 1.8 million people to the National Mall and parade route, generating record transit ridership locally. Metro alone ran 1.5 million trips on its buses and trains, or nearly double the system's daily average of 700,000 trips. However, Ihe inauguration is more likely to draw 500,000 to 800,000 people to the Mall, Metro projected before the election.

kweir@washingtonexaminer.com

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