Inauguration visitors swamp Foggy Bottom Metro

Like many Metro stations in D.C., the Foggy Bottom stop clogged with riders and long lines from the inauguration crowds – especially on Tuesday.

The lines began around 1 p.m. as revelers began departing the National Mall, Metro worker Jibril Baith said.

“The platforms are filling up faster than the trains can pick people up,” he said as people lined up outside of the station.

Crowds spilled into the intersection of 23rd and I streets and around the station Tuesday, but National Guardsman Brendan Swanson said security – even on a day that set a new Metro record for ridership – was not a problem.

“There are three of us holding down 2,500 people waiting for the Metro, and it’s been fine,” Swanson said.

Metro officials said Tuesday they could not estimate the wait time for the Foggy Bottom stop.

“I don’t even know where the end of the line is,” Baith said. “There is no end of the line. This is a very unusual situation.”

As crowds continued to expand late Tuesday afternoon and evening, Metro officials urged people outside the station to use other means of transportation or try other stations, like the Farragut West stop. Vendors lined 23rd Street, trying to sell inaugural t-shirts, pins, flags and other merchandise to those waiting in line.

Lines were nearly as long throughout most of Sunday, as people trying to attend the We Are One concert at the Lincoln Memorial attempted to flow through the GW station.

Crowds leaving the station Sunday morning were arriving by train every few minutes and packing the area right outside the escalators. One Metro officer said the Metro traffic at the station was twice what is usually seen on the Fourth of July.

Problems grew Sunday afternoon, though, as people tried to get back into the stop all at once after the concert concluded. The slow loading of trains compounded the problems, and officials had to hold would-be riders outside the station until the platforms below were cleared.

<em-Alex Byers, Alexi Dagan and Gabrielle Bluestone

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