If it felt like there were a lot of people down on the Mall this holiday weekend, it's because there were. For Metro, the combination of the Cherry Blossom Festival, sports events and perfect weather proved to be the perfect storm.
Hundreds of thousands of riders helped the transit agency set record-setting ridership days between Thursday and Saturday. On Friday, Metro had more than 891,000 riders, and on Thursday, nearly 878,000. Those are now the second and third highest weekday ridership days in Metro's 34-year history. On Saturday, more than 674,000 passengers took Metro, making it the fourth highest ridership day for a Saturday.
Here's a look at the highest ridership days for Metro:
Metro's Top 5 Weekday Ridership Days:
- 1/20/09: Inauguration of President Barack Obama
- 4/2/10: Cherry Blossoms/Basketball
- 4/1/10: Cherry Blossoms/Hockey
- 1/19/09: Obama Inaugural Activities
- 7/11/08: Baseball/Women of Faith
Metro's Top 5 Saturday Ridership Days:
- 6/8/91: Desert Storm
- 10/4/97: Promise Keepers
- 4/4/09: Cherry Blossoms/DC United/Baseball
- 4/3/10: Cherry Blossoms/DC United/Baseball
- 5. 7/4/09: Fourth of July Celebration
If only the cherry blossoms were year-round, maybe they could solve Metro's budget woes. Metro is trying to close a $189 million deficit.
With a sold-out home opener for the Nationals, Metro expects a very busy Monday. The transit agency expects large crowds throughout the day at the Navy Yard, L'Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place-Chinatown stations. To accommodate all those extra riders, Metro will have extra trains on the Green Line, but you may encounter standing-room only conditions.
Combined with Metrobus ridership, Metro provides more than 1.2 million trips on an average weekday.