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Metro 4th of July rail trips decline

Trips on Metro were down by almost 49,000 this Fourth of July compared to 2009. Last year, the agency reported 631,206 trips. This year's ridership totaled 582,286. That was also less than the ridership in 2008, which was 598,898.

Here is the Metro Fourth of July ridership for the past six years.

2010: 582,286
2009: 631,206
2008: 598,898
2007: 499,341
2006: 451,623
2005: 541,201

Did you change your habits this year? Did you ride Metro to the Nationals game and the fireworks, did you drive, or did you just avoid the hassle altogether? Post a comment below.

By Michael Bolden  | July 6, 2010; 9:16 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Comments

I dont ride Metro during the weekend, the trains take forever to come. I would never utilize Metro during a holiday such as the 4th to much of a hassle. Also why is Metro complaining about ridership anyway? they just went up on fares maybe that is the reason the ridership was less this years..LOL

Posted by: trinna22 | July 6, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm not surprised ridership was down in comparison to last year. More people are traveling away from the city this summer, where last summer people stayed closer to home for many of their trips to save money. Additionally, the 4th was on a Sunday this year. Many people still have to work on the 4th, but less people traditionally work on Sundays than on Saturdays (whether a holiday or not).

Any way we could compare the ridership for the whole weekend? I bet there were a lot of trips taken on Saturday.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | July 6, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I rode the Orange line from Virginia Square, intending to change trains at L'Enfant to catch the Green Line north, but the Orange line was barely moving. The train would sit for extended periods. We finally bailed at Metro Center and rode the Red line over to Gallery Place to catch the Green line there (both those lines seemed to be running normally). The trip probably took 40 minutes longer than an average weekend and I don't know how much longer it would have been if we had kept with the Orange line to L'Enfant. The only positive I can see is that there appeared to be plenty of Metro employees on the platforms.

Posted by: ksu499 | July 6, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I biked into the city from Arlington instead of taking Metro, given the ongoing orange line problems and the large numbers of people I was expecting to be on the trains.

I did hear a number of people who rode in on the orange line complain because there were no announcements that the Smithsonian station was closed- the train just passed through and they had to ride back to other stations. I feel really sorry for the tourists in cases like that.

Posted by: srw21 | July 6, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Not surprised after the latest excuse to cut service due to faulty doors, after raising fares astronomically. Seems Metro has been able to find a way to do both regardless and also cut ventilation on the cars as well. I could not voluntarily take the train downtown on a holiday when the daily commute on the orange line to Va rarely has air conditioning. It must have been brutal for tourists.

Posted by: Parentof3FCPS | July 6, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Me and my family decided not to deal with the hussle and tussle of metro this year. We said we would let the out of towners have the enjoyment of the long lines and huge crowds trying to make it down to the mall. We stayed local and watched the fireworks at Allen Pond Park in Bowie, MD.

Posted by: CoffeeC | July 6, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Metro is such a disaster, why would I pay a premium to take my life into my own hands. Between the higher fares, the greater dangers posed by the aging, unrepaired system, and the ridiculous crowds and packed trains...I did not take metro this year.

Posted by: chaddsford1971 | July 6, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I took orange line both days this weekend. On Saturday, heading over to Nats Stadium to see Strasburg, the trains were packed with tourists, baseball fans, etc. However, when I went for fireworks on Sunday (around 6pm), I was shocked by the lack of passengers - there were empty seats when I boarded at Clarendon! Going home around 11:30 from Farragut West was still pretty crowded, though. It seems to me that with the holiday being on a Sunday, less folks stuck around town. In addition, the weather was fairly decent on the 4th, so its possible that more people walked between their destinations (parade, folk life, fireworks) and those within walking distance from home may have traveled that way, too.

Posted by: sciencegrrl | July 6, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I think the numbers would have been higher if Metro stayed open later (even by an hour). Air conditioning on the orange line was horrible. On the way in, we got off and waited for the next train, hoping that it would have better air conditioning - it didn't. Also, they needed more employees by the loading areas in the stations outbound - our car was packed and yet a group of people attempted to push on. It was dangerous with small children packed in as well.

Posted by: kp_nova | July 6, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

My family and I (total of 7 people) drove in and parked right off of 14th, north of the Mall. We arrived in the early afternoon and spent the day playing in the shade. We brought plenty of food and water.

It only took us about 25 minutes to our car after the fireworks and then another 45 minutes to 495 (north).

The fireworks were great and the finale was spectacular. Just wish they were a little longer. Over all, the trip was worth it.

Posted by: TjSch6 | July 6, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I would agree with some other posts, the holiday being on a sunday might have had a lot to do with it. And for the natives metro has gotten a lot of (deserved) bad press lately. When there are a lot of fireworks displays around DC why bother going into the city.

On another note, what is the deal with the lack of air conditioning on the orange line? I don't usually take metro but one weekday last month I rode from Metro Center to Ballston at around 4:30 and it was incredibly hot on the train (it was only in the mid 80s outside). I thought it was an isolated incident until i read some other comments. I feel sorry for people who have to catch it everyday for longer trips.

Posted by: Redial1 | July 6, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Maybe fewer people rode this year because metro is unreliable, expensive, and unsafe.

Posted by: 123cartoon | July 6, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I seem to be in the minority, but I thought Metro ran fine on the 4th. My son and I took the Red line from Glenmont around 5 PM, got off at Metro Center. The fireworks were great and the finale was amazing, best we've seen in years and years. Went back to Metro Center, which was very crowded, but at that point, Metro workers opened the turnstiles without asking passengers to insert their tickets, so it went much faster after that. Surprisingly, back at Glenmont, same thing happened, didn't have to insert tickets to leave, so it was essentially a free ride - maybe that contributed to low ridership rates - *shrug*. Anyway, left the Mall at 9:45-ish, got to Glenmont at 11:00. I think for the crowds and the walking we did, that was pretty good timing. I'd do it again next year, too. Police and Metro workers did a great job, IMO.

Posted by: kimi1 | July 6, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The orange line has been a complete disaster for the past two months. 10+ minutes between trains at rush hour, overcrowding, lack of A/C, and higher fares.

Sitting in my car in gridlock has now become more appealing.

Posted by: throwsatfeet | July 6, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

We drove to Sunday's Nationals game per our usual routine. On-street parking is free on Sunday if you know where to park, too. Given how hot it was, I'm quite glad we drove. The car's AC felt REALLY GOOD. Cramming into a crowded train with one's nose pressed into one's neighbor's sweaty armpit would not have felt so good.

We don't go downtown for the fireworks because the view from Ms1995hoo's apartment balcony lets us see both the DC and National Harbor displays with no traffic and with no concern about whether we might overindulge on drinks.

Posted by: 1995hoo | July 6, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Metro may have done well to stay open later Sunday night.

Posted by: DOEJN | July 7, 2010 7:16 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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