Metro Ridership Drops During Shutdown, But Some Trains Remain Crowded

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    Some Metro riders are seeing emptier cars as the government shutdown continues and furloughed federal workers stay home -- but others are reporting still-crowded conditions as Metro has reduced the number of cars per train.

    About 40 percent of rush hour Metro riders are federal workers.

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    The transit agency announced Wednesday that, with ridership down about 22 percent, it's cut eight-car trains to down to six cars.

    That means that the remaining cars can end up just as crowded as before the furloughs, and some riders are reporting virtually no difference in crowding.

    Each railcar can hold up to 120 riders.

    Of course, your (rail) mileage may vary. News4 Transportation Reporter Adam Tuss reported a notable difference on the Orange Line Thursday morning, with many vacant seats.

    Metro has remained open during the shutdown because it's not a federal entity. But federal workers usually take Metro in high numbers because they receive SmartBenefits, fare subsidies offered to eligible employees who commute by public transportation.

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