College Park Metro station closing this weekend despite Universi - New York News

College Park Metro station closing this weekend despite University of Maryland's commencement

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. -

We are Monitoring Metro with a development affecting potentially thousands of Maryland college students and their families. It is the decision by Metro to close its College Park station this weekend when the University of Maryland is having its commencement.

Most intriguing about this is the matter of when the university found out this was going to happen.

"I've heard that the university only found out about it this week," says Ted Van Houten, graduating Sunday with a Masters in Urban Planning.

He is also on the board of The Action Committee for Transit.

"And I'm really disappointed in the university. They know these days for commencement years in advance,” he says.

Van Houten says 11 members of his family are coming to College Park for Sunday's commencement.

"It seems like the university just assumed that Metro would be open," he says.

"Yes, the Metro's closed this weekend, and yes that's stupid," says Eric Nietering.

He is graduating with a Masters in Computer Engineering.

"They should not close it this weekend. They should reschedule that for some other time because there are going to be tens of thousands of people here,” says Nietering.

Metro says closing its College Park station this weekend is part of scheduled track work along that part of the Green Line.

"Back in January, we issued a press release with our scheduled track improvements and plans that we had out," says Metro spokesman Caroline Lukas. "It's been on the website. We issued a press release. We tried to do everything we could to make sure people were aware of what our plans were."

University of Maryland officials say it will all work out -- just allow for extra time if using public transportation. They say university shuttles will be running to and from campus and the College Park station.

Metro says it will have plenty of buses available and doesn't expect there to be too much trouble -- using last year's graduation day as a guide.

"The busiest hour only saw 262 people exiting the system," Lukas says. "And that is something that really can be easily be accommodated by buses."

Guess it depends on your point of view.

"That added inconvenience of getting on those shuttle buses," says Van Houten, "is really going to put a damper on the weekend."

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