WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — Metro invited people to follow the blossoms for cherry blossom season, rolling out a specially designed train and Metrobuses to celebrate the spring icons of D.C.

Metro said its fully wrapped six-car Metrorail train would be run on different lines throughout the season. Two decorated Metrobuses will be on the roadways. If you’re looking to find any of them to ride, Metro has a special tracker to help locate them within the system. Just head to the online tracker, and click on the Special Edition tab at the top of the page. Then, look for the blossoms on the map!

Additionally, Metro said it is celebrating with the 2023 National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorative SmarTrip cards. They’re available at specially marked fare vending machines at L’Enfant Plaza, Navy Yard, and Metro Center stations. The cards feature the Yoshino cherry trees in full bloom at sunrise at the Tidal Basin and Washington Monument. The cards are available while supplies last.


Metro said it cleared any maintenance and track work on Metrorail until late night (10 p.m. and overnight), including weekends, so that people can travel to see the trees without any scheduled disruptions. The “late night only” approach begins March 20 and continues for four consecutive weeks. Because cherry blossom season typically is one of the highest ridership periods for Metro, it said it would have extra trains and buses positioned throughout the system to help if they are needed. Metro said it also would have volunteers at key stations.

Metro provided some guidance that it felt could help people going to see the cherry blossoms:

  • On weekdays, consider traveling during non-rush hour times (10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and after 7 p.m.) and on weekends during the early morning or early evening to avoid crowding. Sundays are also a good option when ridership is lower.
  • Smithsonian Station is the closest station to the Tidal Basin and can become extremely busy. To avoid crowding, consider using L’Enfant Plaza or Federal Triangle instead.
  • Avoid transfers. Except for the Red Line, the Tidal Basin is accessible on all lines without transfers. 
  • If you don’t plan to purchase a commemorative card, use Metro’s mobile pay options for Apple iOS or Android to purchase a SmarTrip card or transfer an existing card to a phone or mobile device and instantly add funds.
  • Each passenger 5 years of age or older needs his or her own SmarTrip card. Be sure to load enough value on the card to pay for all trips you plan to take.