Peak Hour Passenger Ridership on Metrorail
More than two-thirds of daily ridership occurs during the morning and evening peak periods. In fact, the peak ridership is a key determinant to Metro’s operating plan and future system planning efforts. An assessment of peak passenger ridership allows Metro to locate areas of current and future peak-period passenger crowding, and then plan to develop and fund capital projects aimed at addressing these capacity-constrained locations.
In 2009, Metro’s Office of Long Range Planning developed a tool to estimate passenger ridership on individual rail segments based on the station-to-station origin-destination data in the ridership database. The tool approximates passenger volume by peak hour and period. Then we use GIS to map the link-level passenger volumes.
The graphic below shows the AM peak hour (8AM-9AM) passenger volumes by travel direction. Red and Orange/Blue Lines carry the highest passenger volumes the system morning peak hour, on segments from Woodley Park to Farragut North (eastbound), Gallery Place to Metro Center (westbound), and Rosslyn to Farragut West (eastbound). Please note the 8AM-9AM system graphic does not reflect true max-loads on the Green Line. Unlike the other lines, the Green Line actually reaches peak loads between 7:30 AM and 8:30 AM, ahead of the other lines, with hourly passenger loads exceeding 7,000 from Anacostia to L’Enfant Plaza.