Inauguration 2017 Weekend Transportation Guide

How to Get Around Washington, DC for the Weekend of the 2017 Inauguration

Rush hour on the Metro, Washington DC, USA
••• Tim Santimore/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Washington, DC will host large crowds for the 2017 Inauguration and getting around the region throughout the three-day weekend will be challenging. Security and transportation plans for the 2017 Inauguration were developed by a partnership of local, state and federal law enforcement and public safety agencies. Parking is limited in the city, so the best way to get to the inaugural events is by public transportation.

Everyone will need a lot of patience and should be prepared to wait in long lines. You should purchase your Metro fare in advance to save time. Be sure to have enough fare value on your SmarTrip card or farecard to make a round trip. Read A Guide to Using Washington Metrorail for more details. Following is a guide to transportation options and access points to the events.

For information about the inaugural events, see A Guide to the Presidential Inauguration 2017

Viewing the Inaugural ceremonies from the National Mall does not require tickets. However, bags will be checked. The non-ticketed area of the National Mall begins at 4th St. NW, and extends past the Washington Monument to 17th St. NW.  For more information about the area, see a guide to 10 Things to Know About the National Mall. 

Maps of Viewing Areas and Security Access Points

Metrorail Plans for Inauguration Day

  • Metrorail will open at 4 a.m. and close at midnight. on January 20, 2017. Due to security measures, Archives, Mt. Vernon Square, Federal Triangle and the Smithsonian stations will be closed all day.
  • On January 21, Metrorail will be open 5 a.m. until midnight and will be running extra trains to accommodate the expected crowds.
  • Peak fares will be in effect. Normal parking rates will apply.
  • Metro will offer online orders for its commemorative Inaugural SmarTrip cards which come pre-loaded with a One-Day Pass that provides unlimited travel on Metrorail on January 20th. The cards will be available to purchase at most CVS stores around the region.
  • Viewing the Inauguration ceremonies from the U.S. Capitol grounds requires a ticket. Recommended Metro exits for individuals with tickets include Capitol South, Eastern Market, Union Station, NoMa-Gallaudet U (New York Ave.), Judiciary Square, Gallery Place-Chinatown, Federal Center SW or L’Enfant Plaza.

Metrobus Service

Metrobus will operate on a weekday rush hour service in the morning, followed by an early rush hour in the afternoon. With the anticipated street closures around the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue for the parade, all Metrobuses will be prepared for detours. Bus customers are encouraged to plan significant extra time to travel through these areas. No vehicular traffic, including buses, is expected to be able to pass close to the U.S. Capitol, nor will vehicles be able to cross Pennsylvania Avenue.

Commuter Rail Service

MARC Train will run a LIMITED Penn and Brunswick Line morning and afternoon schedule that day.

Commuter Bus and the MARC Camden line will NOT operate. Advance tickets are required.  Commemorative tickets are $25 each. Seats are limited and tickets will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. Penn Line service will depart from Baltimore’s Penn Station every 30 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and afternoon trains will depart from Washington’s Union Station from 1:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Brunswick Line service will depart from Martinsburg 7:25 a.m. and 8:25 a.m. and from Frederick 8:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. Afternoon trains will depart Washington for Martinsburg 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and for Frederick 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Virginia Railway Express commuter train service has announced that they will not be operating on Inauguration Day.

Water Taxi from Alexandria

The Inaugural Water Taxi service will depart from the Alexandria City Marina (1 Cameron Street)  from 6:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. on January 20 to Washington, DC (Southwest Waterfront, (Maine Ave SW and 7th St SW) Tickets are $40 per person roundtrip; reservations are required.

Trip is approximately 45 minutes each way.  The water taxi is heated. Tickets and info:

Walking to the Inaugural Events

If you are staying within 2 miles of the U.S. Capitol, walking to the swearing-in ceremony will be the most reliable method of getting to the inaugural events. Please note that you will only be able to cross the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route at designated points.

Bike Parking and Capital Bikeshare

On Inauguration Day, a bike parking area will be established at 16th and I Streets NW with space available for hundreds of bikes. Owners will be responsible for parking and locking their own bikes and availability will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Capital Bikeshare will establish two corrals on Inauguration Day to serve members attending the events. The corrals – which are only for Capital Bikeshare bikes - will be located at:

  • 17th and K Streets NW (Farragut Square)
  • 4th and E Streets SW

Bikeshare stations in the National Mall area will be closed January 19 and 20. Read More About Capital Bikeshare

Inauguration Security

A security perimeter will be established around the U.S. Capitol and the parade route. Metro stations, bus stops, and streets within that perimeter will be closed. Street closures throughout Washington, DC will make traveling by car or taxi very difficult. Bridges from Virginia crossing the Potomac River into Washington, DC as well as major roadways from Maryland into Washington, DC may be closed to all but bus traffic.

Road Access into Washington DC

Vehicle restricted zones will be in effect on January 19-21, 2017. Restrictions will be implemented on a rolling schedule, beginning at Pennsylvania Avenue NW from 2nd Street NW to 15th Street NW. All closures will be in place. Inquiries pertaining to road closures should be directed to the MPD Office of Public Information at (202) 727-4383.

The following is a summary of routes and their status on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017

  • 14th Street Bridge to 14th Street – All traffic will be diverted by MPD onto the Southeast/Southwest freeway beginning at 5:30 a.m.
  • Roosevelt Bridge – Traffic coming across the Roosevelt Bridge will be diverted into northbound Potomac River Expressway to Pennsylvania Avenue or Whitehurst Freeway/K Street.
  • Memorial Bridge – Restricted to pedestrians and authorized vehicles only
  • Key Bridge – Open to all traffic
  • Chain Bridge - Open to all traffic
  • South Capitol Street Bridge – Open to all traffic
  • Southeast/Southwest Freeway – Open to all traffic
  • Rock Creek Parkway – Open to traffic (holiday traffic schedule in effect throughout the park)
  • Clara Barton Parkway operating under holiday schedule (two-way traffic all day)
  • 11th Street Bridges – Open to all traffic
  • Sousa Bridge – Open to all traffic from east of the river to security checkpoint at Capitol Hill
  • East Capitol Street – Open to all traffic. Roadways near RFK Stadium are primary routes for charter tour bus operators.
  • Benning Road – Open to all traffic
  • New York Avenue – Open to all traffic
  • 3rd Street Tunnel – Closed to all vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic
  • Woodrow Wilson Bridge – Open to all traffic

Security Entrances for the Ticketed Areas of the Swearing-in Ceremony

  • Blue Ticket - D St at Louisianna Ave. NW
  • Orange Ticket - Washington Ave NW
  • Red Ticket - 3rd St Near Constitution Ave NW
  • Green Ticket - Washington Ave NW
  • Yellow Ticket - Lower Senate Park

Non-Ticketed Access to the National Mall

Viewing the Inaugural ceremonies from the National Mall does not require tickets. The non-ticketed area of the National Mall begins at 4th Street NW, and extends towards the Washington Monument. Entry points to the non-ticketed portion of the National Mall are located at:

  • Constitution Ave at 12 St NW
  • Constitution Ave at 9th St NW
  • Constitution Ave at 7th St NW
  • Independence Ave at 7th St SW
  • Independence Ave at 12th St SW

Parade Route Entry Points

The following public entry points will open at 6:30 a.m. on January 20, 2017, and will remain open until the parade route can no longer accommodate additional people.

  • 2nd Street NW and C Street NW
  • John Marshall Park at C Street NW
  • Indiana Avenue NW between 6th Street NW and 7th Street NW
  • 7th Street NW and D Street NW
  • 10th Street NW and E Street NW
  • 12th Street NW and E Street NW
  • 13th Street NW and E Street NW
  • 14th Street NW and E Street NW
  • 12th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW
  • 10th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW
  • 7th Street NW and Constitution Avenue NW
  • Constitution Avenue NW between 6th Street NW and 7th Street NW

Charter Buses

Up to 1,500 private buses carrying approximately 100,000 participants are expected to arrive in Washington, DC for the Inaugural events. Parking is only available at RFK Stadium. Passengers will be able to take Metrorail, walk, or, in limited cases, take shuttle buses to the Inaugural events.