- The Washington Times - Friday, August 17, 2007

Metro hopes to make it easier for area sports fans to get to Washington Nationals and Redskins home games tomorrow night.

Fourteen six-car and eight-car trains will be on standby to ease any overcrowding on the Blue and Orange lines.

Trains will run at six- or seven-minute intervals, said Steven Taubenkibel, a spokesman for Metro.

“We are preparing for high ridership events,” he said. “We will monitor crowds to see if more trains are needed.”

The Nationals take on the New York Mets at 7:05 p.m. tomorrow at RFK Stadium, and the Redskins host the Pittsburgh Steelers in a preseason game at 8 p.m. at FedEx Field in Prince George’s County.

Parking lots at FedEx Field and RFK are often filled by fans who drive to the games.

Many Redskins fans ride Blue Line trains to the Morgan Boulevard Station and then walk less than a mile to Fed Ex Field.

Others drive and park in Landover. Metro provides Orange Line shuttle buses to take fans to FedEx Field for $5 a passenger.

“We’ve got 31 years of planning, so we are prepared,” said Mr. Taubenkibel. “We stand ready in case of any alternative situation.”

On one Sunday last year, Metro took fans to a Redskins’, a Nationals and a Washington Capitals hockey game.

“All went well,” Mr. Taubenkibel said.

Metro trains typically run 106.3 miles among 86 Metro stations. Last fiscal year, which ended in July, Metro trains and buses traveled 339.4 million miles, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

The highest Metro ridership was on June 9, 2004, the day of former President Ronald Reagan’s state funeral. That day, 850,636 passengers used Metro. The second highest ridership was on April 3 this year, the day of a Nationals game and the National Cherry Blossom Festival. That day, 831,508 passengers used Metro.