WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Metro announced Tuesday that service will be further reduced on both bus and rail during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Starting Wednesday, Metro says only essential travel will be allowed in an effort to "protect frontline employees, while maintaining regional mobility for essential trips taken by hospital staff, government officials, and emergency responders."
The Metro Task Force is urging the public to not travel to the National Cherry Blossom Festival on Metro in order to keep buses and the rails to limited capacity and available for essential travel only.
"Metro reserves the right to close stations near the Tidal Basin at any time to reduce the use of Metro for tourist trips," the transit agency said in a news release.
Rail system hours will also be reduced with an earlier closing time during the week. Metro will be open weekdays from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Metro says trains will run every 15 minutes on each line at all times.
Meanwhile, buses will operate on a Sunday schedule "with supplemental service on selected routes to prevent crowding and ensure areas are not cut off."
"Bus operators are granted the authority to bypass bus stops to maintain safe social distancing aboard the vehicle," said Metro.
For MetroAccess: "Customers are strongly encouraged to travel only if absolutely necessary."