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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

By washingtonpost.com editors  |  January 20, 2009; 9:14 PM ET
Categories:  Events , Inauguration , Metro  
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Comments

Hello dr. Gridlock,

I wanted to share with you something interesting. I live near the Ballston Metro and saw on the Metro Web site this "22. Wilson and Clarendon Boulevard to Potomac Park
Pathway will begin at Ballston Metrorail station and end at 23rd Street, NW, at Constitution Avenue, NW. Buses will service stops at Ballston Metrorail station and along North Fairfax Drive, Clarendon Boulevard and Wilson Boulevard.
Metrobus Route 38 Special (38S)
"
That was my plan to get downtown at 8am, but...that bus was not running. It was only going to Rosslyn. It was chaos as what was promised, was not provided, but typical Metro.

If you want more information, please post below and I will get in touch with you.

Posted by: PlateMan | January 20, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to compare today's ridership vs. estimates for future growth of metro usage. I suspect there is a point in the future where the two will meet, though I don't know how that can be done unless the system finds a way to expand (including some new tunnels) and a heck of a lot more cars.

Posted by: idiparker | January 20, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Well--I can't complain to you about the substantial hike to get off the Mall--starting at 7th Street and, finally, amid a horde of good-spirited, cold people, strolling (and I mean s-t-r-o-l-l-i-n-g) up 18th Street--that's someone else's problem.

But I can be grumpy about my $25 cab ride (after a warming lunch and a brandy!) from K and 17th to Southwest (there was at least an hour's cold and windy wait to get into the Metro). The cab driver and I agreed that, while the parade was still on, a potentially sucessful route would be to take back streets (M, N etc.) to the Hill and then go South. Well--each time we turned a corner, we would go a block or two and find a totally unexpected street closure, and/or a gaggle of buses--which I assume belonged to parade participants(do buses come in gaggles?), sometimes just as we were approaching. In principle we were right--we hit Mass. Avenue at, believe it or not, then 4th Street SE at Stanton Park, and it was smooth sailing from there. Oh I know there were lots of opportunities for unexpected happenings, but the bad traffic planning was not only inexcusable but unprofessional.

At least I could take comfort that the scariest thing didn't happen--I have not forgotten when Dan Tangherlini was quoted as saying "If there is snow..."

Posted by: rweiner12 | January 21, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Well--I can't complain to you about the substantial hike to get off the Mall--starting at 7th Street and, finally, amid a horde of good-spirited, cold people, strolling (and I mean s-t-r-o-l-l-i-n-g) up 18th Street--that's someone else's problem.

But I can be grumpy about my $25 cab ride (after a warming lunch and a brandy!) from K and 17th to Southwest (there was at least an hour's cold and windy wait to get into the Metro). The cab driver and I agreed that, while the parade was still on, a potentially sucessful route would be to take back streets (M, N etc.) to the Hill and then go South. Well--each time we turned a corner, we would go a block or two and find a totally unexpected street closure, and/or a gaggle of buses--which I assume belonged to parade participants(do buses come in gaggles?), sometimes just as we were approaching. In principle we were right--we hit Mass. Avenue at, believe it or not, then 4th Street SE at Stanton Park, and it was smooth sailing from there. Oh I know there were lots of opportunities for unexpected happenings, but the bad traffic planning was not only inexcusable but unprofessional.

At least I could take comfort that the scariest thing didn't happen--I have not forgotten when Dan Tangherlini was quoted as saying "If there is snow..."

Posted by: rweiner12 | January 21, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

DO NOT LISTEN TO WHAT BARACK OBAMA SAYS, BUT CAREFULLY WATCH WHAT HE DOES !!!

Barack Obama is the greatest liar in history (no wonder he is an excellent lawyer!) During his campaign, he told lots of hope in future for America if he was elected, but now he warns Americans of oncoming darker economy and not to put too much hope in his promises. He promises a big plan to reduce budget deficit but his inauguration ceremony this January will be the most costly in history (50 millions) while the nation is in deep depression, as well as his presidential campaign (600 millions), which was far more than his opponent John McCain's. He swears to clean up Washington DC, but he failed to first clean up his homestate Illinois, one of the most corrupt state with the scandal of Governor Rod Blagojevich, who greatly helped Obama to win his state senate seat in 1996, 1998, and 2002. And his favorite slogan is "Yes, we CAN", yet he himself CANNOT quit smoking at all !!! (Each year about 1.3 million American smokers quit successfully).

Posted by: TIMNGUYEN1 | January 21, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse

What changes will Obama bring to the country? I see none outlined in this piece.
He will not stop fighting terrorists because he said so. He will not abandon the bailout packages because he said so. He will not be raising taxes and spending right away because he said so. So what are the changes? He will not be able to close Guantanamo immediately because he has no place to put the enemy combatants except spreading them around the country in military brigs. He cannot send them home because no one will take them. He will not stop questioning enemy combatants he just will limit our techniques to that of the manual. High minded and dangerous if we really need the information and a nuke is planted somewhere, but hey, we don't want the world to hate us so what's a entire city blown to bits next to our popularity with those that despise us?
He did not mention nuclear energy. Too bad the French use it for 80% of their electric power. He wants to turn food into gasoline...ethanol...not the best way to go. We need electric cars everywhere. We need projects that reduce our need for oil from our enemies, such as high speed electric, or maglev trains all across America.
I thought that his inaugural address was not up to his usual oratory and splendor.

I wish him well. We are all in this together. I for one want him to be the best president since Abraham Lincoln.

Posted by: mharwick | January 21, 2009 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: metroman1 | January 21, 2009 7:39 AM | Report abuse

I started my journey on the Metro at 530am from the Dunn Loring station. We entered a packed train but were happy to get on. After many delays and hundreds of people trying to enter our already full, and I do mean full train, a voice came over the loudspeaker and told us to exit the train and it would be out of service because someone was sick. We were told to go to the outbound side for the next train. As soon as we did this, they put our train back in service and it quickly filled up before we could return. After several packed trains went by, finally an empty train came, slowed down, everyone was cheering, and then it sped up and flew by hundreds of desparate passengers.
We finally did get a train after about 2 hours and got to our checkpoint at the blue ticket entry at 9am but never made it through the security checkpoint in time to see the inauguration.

Posted by: otis5 | January 21, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

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