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Park Service Announces New Bus For National Mall

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Visitors to the National Mall and to Arlington National Cemetery will have new transportation options in time for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

A new shuttle and tour service begins operating Monday at Arlington Cemetery, the park service said. The new shuttle, which covers just the cemetery, costs $8.75 per person.

For the National Mall, a new express bus service will begin operating March 12. It will run in a loop from Union Station to the World War II Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Smithsonian Metro station. The cost is $5 per boarding.

During the cherry blossom events, there will also be a $1 shuttle bus from the Mall to see the trees on Haines Point. Also in time for the festival, the park service plans to open at least one Capital Bikeshare station on the National Mall and have five stations open on or near the mall soon.

“Our visitors have told us that they want different ways of getting from place to place,” said Steve Whitesell, the regional director for the park service.

ANC Tours by Martz Gray Line won temporary contracts to provide the new services through the end of 2014. The Park Service said it awarded temporary sole-source contracts because it needed to quickly provide transportation for visitors this year.

The change comes after Tourmobile stopped operating last fall after 42 years of providing $32 tours.

An interpretive bus tour of the monuments and attractions also is being planned that would be similar to the Tourmobile service.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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