Inauguration Sets Record Metro Ridership
Even before Inauguration Day had ended, Metro officials said ridership set a new record: people took 973,285 trips as of 7 p.m. The figure breaks the all-time rail ridership record of 866,681, which was set yesterday on Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Metro officials said they had unprecedented crowds throughout the day. Several parking lots started filling at end-of-the-line stations before 5:30 a.m., just two hours after they opened. At the request of local law enforcement, Metro allowed motorists through some lots without paying after vehicles began to back up on local roads.
Delays also were caused by riders blocking doors and causing breakdowns, and one woman fell onto the tracks at Gallery-Place Chinatown Metrorail station, disrupting service at the station and Metro Center for about 45 minutes.
At Federal Triangle station, law enforcement concerns closed doors for four-and-a-half hours. The biggest reason for delays was the sheer volume of people, officials said. As an additional precaution, police periodically held people from entering extremely crowded stations until crowds on the station platforms eased.
--Lena H. Sun
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