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Metrorail logs 500K+ trips Saturday

Metrorail logged more than a half million trips on Saturday as rallies drew crowds to the National Mall.

Metro's rocky ride

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Metro announced Monday that it tallied 510,000 trips on Saturday. The figure is significantly higher than usual Saturday ridership numbers. Metro saw 303,997 trips on the same Saturday in 2009 and 301,604 trips a week earlier, officials said.

TV and radio talk show host Glenn Beck organized the conservative "Restoring Honor" rally on Saturday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Saturday was the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech at the memorial.

A group of civil rights activists organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton held a counter rally at Dunbar High School, then marched three miles to the site of a planned monument honoring King.

-- Associated Press

By Michael Bolden  | August 30, 2010; 2:06 PM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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WMATA knew they were coming and ran trains 12-18 minutes apart anyhow.

Way to stick it to whitey, WMATA!

Posted by: jiji1 | August 30, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

But according to CBS, only 87,000 people attended the Honor rally. hmmmm, I wonder then where all those other people were going?

Posted by: emacco | August 30, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

@ emacco: You know, the rest of the city? Metro estimates that the other Saturday's this month have seen about 350,000 people a day. So this was a 160,000 person increase with more than just one large event being held. CBS's estimate was using over head technology, a bit closer to the real number than the event organizers method "Uh hey Glenn how many people you think are here today?" "Uh I don't know, 500,000? 2 mil?" "Ok awesome, that'll be the official number, thanks for your time." Fox even quoted the Park Service number which is weird because the Park service stopped counting crowds a long long time ago.

Posted by: Mainah32 | August 30, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Amazing how they can down play the King Rally for this non-sense..just goes to show what the world is still made of...and you know times are bad when folks are listening to Sarah Palin..if Bush was still President no one would listen to her, keep going Levi you could be President next!

Posted by: shadon1 | August 30, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Okay metro who is stealing??? Cut some overhead? Make this folks just sitting in the booth and not wanting to help people retire!! If they can't do the job anymore than what is the purpose!! Cut the overhead and it will help the budget..

Posted by: shadon1 | August 30, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Do those numbers count all the people who didn't pay and were allowed to just walk through the gates?

Posted by: DOEJN | August 30, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

alright sport, I'll bite. Lets use the lower of the prior ridership numbers- call it 301k riders. 87k at the Beck rally, maybe what, 4k at Sharpton's? dont really know about that. So 91k riders. going to and from so 182k trips. On top of the 301k base and we're looking at 485k. Still a 25k diff, so at 2 trips each, not including people using the Metro for meals, staying within the area deemed "safe" for Tea Baggers of course, we have about a 12.5k diff in the numbers. No idea what the margin of error for a back of the napkin guess like this is. So while the number still falls about 12.5 shy, please spare us the conspiracy inuendo based on a simple Metro ridership number.

Posted by: overed | August 30, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

There was also a Nats game that night. The stadium was almost full and I can attest to the crowded metro ride on the way there...

Posted by: chaps1 | August 30, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

add a caps game and it would be the whitest DC ever

Posted by: jiji1 | August 30, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

overed: Totally forgot to divide by two for outward rides. I think the margin of error on the CBS overhead estimate was 9.7k or something to either side so that makes it very close to the actual number. Plus the Nats game thrown in. The CBS number looks far more likely than the Fox number, which would have made for close to 600,000 trips on its own without even taking into account normal rider-ship on saturdays.

Posted by: Mainah32 | August 30, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

@Mainah32 - And I had no idea there was a Nats game. Yep, pretty well covers it.

So, emacco hows them figures work for ya?

Posted by: overed | August 30, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

whitey don't ride busses

Posted by: jiji1 | August 31, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

The Nats game was very crowded so I'm sure that added to the totals. Same weekend last year the Nats were away.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | August 31, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

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