Strasburg, Metro set records
Tuesday became the sixth highest ridership day in Metrorail's history. The transit authority attributes that to the crowds heading to Nationals Park to watch the debut of pitcher Steven Strasburg and to Verizon Center for the James Taylor/Carole King concert.
Those extra numbers pushed the total Metrorail trips for the day to 856,578. (A trip is just that: one trip. If you went to the game and back on Metrorail, you did two trips.)
I went to the Taylor/King show via the Red Line. Getting to the 8 p.m. concert was a breeze -- except that three of the four escalators from the mezzanine at Gallery Place Station up to the nearest entrance to Verizon Center were out of service at that hour.
The way back was more difficult because of platform and train crowding on the Red Line, but still very manageable. The Grid Spouse and I were on the Glenmont-bound platform looking across at an enormous crowd on the Shady Grove-bound side just after the concert ended.
Those folks weren't getting much guidance, because they were spread out all along the platform, only to discover that the arriving train was six cars long. But an eight-car train did arrive about two minutes after the six-car train left.
On our side, we waited about 10 minutes for a train and easily got aboard the first car. The platform display showed the next trains would arrive in 10 minutes and 11 minutes.
Reports from our Post staffers at the game confirmed what Metro had warned us about: The Navy Yard Station was jammed after Strasburg finished his strong seven innings.The station's Half Street entrance was rebuilt to handle 15,000 people an hour. That's pretty good, but it still means very long waits, and when the platform gets jammed, Metro will temporarily close the entrance till Green Line trains take more riders away.
What was your experience like getting to and from the events on Tuesday night? One tip many people have adopted is to walk to another station to board a train. After some Nationals games, I've walked over to the New Jersey Avenue entrance, or boarded a Circulator bus near the entrance on New Jersey Avenue.
When the crowds are heavy getting out of Verizon Center, Glenmont-bound riders will walk over to Metro Center, the last stop before Gallery Place, while Shady Grove-bound passengers will walk to nearby Judiciary Square.
Here's the list of Metrorail's top five heaviest days:
1) Jan. 20, 2009: 1,120,000 million trips (Obama Inaugural)
2) April 2, 2010: 891,240 (Cherry Blossoms/basketball)
3) April 1, 2010: 877,890 (Cherry Blossoms/hockey)
4) April 7, 2010: 867,624 (Cherry Blossoms/baseball)
5) January 19, 2009: 866,681 (Obama inaugural activities)
| June 9, 2010; 4:05 PM ET
Categories: Events, Metro, Transit | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail
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