Inaugural Crowds Strain DC Transport

Commuters trapped inside station for more than 30 minutes
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2009 8:40 AM CST
Inaugural Crowds Strain DC Transport
Record crowds attending the inauguration of Barack Obama have strained Washington's public transportation system.   (AP Photo)

Washington’s public-transportation system is stretched to breaking today as crowds arriving on the Metro and commuter trains choke the exits at L’Enfant Plaza, the main disembarkation point for the National Mall. At 8:15am, a medical emergency forced officials to slow crowds leaving the station, and packed platforms have left commuters stuck for half an hour or more, reports the Washington Post.

Union Station, the capital’s main commuter train terminal, has also been crowded, though not unmanageably so. At L’Enfant Plaza, spectators for the inauguration have been waiting in lines 75 deep just to use the escalator. But the mood in the station is buoyant, and commuters have been chanting Barack Obama’s signature rallying cry, “Fired up, ready to go!” (More inauguration stories.)

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