Commuter hopes to make train journey as usual ...

... and to return home early from federal job

February 05, 2010|By Michael Dresser

Snow or no snow, Len Sipes is planning to make his usual train journey this morning from Martin State Airport to Washington and be at his desk by 8:30 a.m.

"The federal government is open. I report," said Sipes, press spokesman for a federal agency.

Sipes said he's prepared to stay as long as his agency needs him, but he's hoping it won't need him too long. He'd like to catch the 12:20 p.m. Penn Line train out of Union Station, though he's expecting a madhouse as federal workers make an early exodus.

"Images of trains in India come to mind," he said. "I'm not sure if MARC allows you to sit atop the trains."

MARC is preparing for a rush by adding seating capacity to its 12:20 p.m. train and switching a late Camden Line train to an earlier starting time.

The federal government urged agencies Thursday to let employees who can work from home do so. It put into effect policies allowing workers to take leave who had not previously scheduled it.

Sipes said he thinks many will take the government up on any breaks it offers. "I would suspect that most people plan on vacating the District by noon" today, he said.

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