- The Washington Times - Friday, June 26, 2020

Metro is ramping up rail service for the Fourth of July in anticipation of large crowds — though smaller in the past — attending the annual fireworks display on the National Mall.

Although the traditional Independence Day parade is canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, the National Park Service will host a fireworks show on the Mall Saturday night. The start time and launch locations for the fireworks have yet to be confirmed.

The traditional “A Capitol Fourth” concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol will not be held. Instead, the performances were pre-taped without a live audience.

“While it is not known how many visitors will attend the event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all indications are that crowds will be much lighter than in past years,” Metro said Friday. “However, because the event may result in a modest increase in Metro’s ridership versus current levels, Metro will run more frequent trains and extend service beyond 9 p.m. at designated stations closest to the National Mall.”

Metro stations will open at 8 a.m. on July 4 with a “COVID-19 weekend schedule.” More frequent service will start at about 4 p.m. in advance of the firework show.



D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, however, is recommending that residents stay away from the Mall this year to avoid community spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“Our strong recommendation is that D.C. residents celebrate the Fourth of July at home or near their home in small gatherings,” she said at a press conference Thursday.

The following stations near and on the Mall will remain open for “entry only” for 30 minutes after the conclusion of the fireworks display:

*L’Enfant Plaza

*Smithsonian

*Federal Triangle

*Metro Center

*McPherson Square

*Farragut West

*Foggy Bottom

*Rosslyn

*Farragut North

*Gallery Place

After 9 p.m., most other stations will be made “exit only,” and Metro will run trains in all directions as long as necessary. Some stations west of Ballston are shuttle-only because of platform construction that has shut down the rail stops.

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