Metro Will Tag Inauguration Tourists

Posted December 6, 2012 at 7:42pm

If the upcoming inauguration is anything like the last, a mass of excited — and inevitably lost — tourists will descend upon the District.

But don’t fret. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has an idea to keep those pesky lost travelers at bay and make travel on Inauguration Day easier: tagging tourists.

Metrorail riders will receive wristbands, similar to those you receive when you’re admitted to the hospital or pay the cover at a nightclub, to remind riders of the station they originated at.

The wristband reminder is an effort to prevent lost riders from slowing down the flow of travel on Inauguration Day.

According to Metro spokesman Dan Stessel, the idea was sparked by the large number of confused tourists at the 2009 inauguration who had traveled by tour bus to the area, taken the Metro to the National Mall and then forgot where they came from after the festivities were over and it was time to head home. Doh!

The idea was announced at a WMATA board of directors meeting Thursday, at which it also reported that 100,000 commemorative farecards emblazoned with President Barack Obama’s likeness will be available for the low, low price of $15.