Metrorail ridership isn’t only about rush hour! Here’s a deeper look at why off-peak riders travel, and what segments are most traveled.
You may not be surprised that the peak period travel on Metrorail is dominated by commuting and business related trips. Every day from opening to 9:30am, nearly 90 percent of passengers travel to work and business. However do you know that over almost a third of daily ridership takes place in the off peak? This post explores what is happening during weekday off-peak periods.
The weekday “off-peak” time typically refers to the weekday midday period (9:30am to 3:00pm) and the weekday evening period (from 7:00pm to closing), excluding late night service on Friday and Saturdays between midnight and 3:00am. In recent years, weekday off-peak travel demand has remained stable at 32 percent of the daily ridership, with the midday ridership at 19-20 percent and the evening ridership at 12 percent.
Most non-work trips, such as personal, recreational, and shopping trips, occur during the off-peak times and are spread fairly evenly between the midday and evening, as illustrated in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Percentage of Non-Work Trips by Time of Day (2012 Metrorail Passenger Survey)
The off-peak, non-work travel market has showed strong growth between 2007 and 2012 (our last two passenger surveys where we can distinguish between work and non-work travel). According to the Metrorail passenger surveys, off-peak non-work trips grew by 15 percent for the midday and evening from 2007 to 2012, higher than the 9 percent increase in the daily non-work trips. Read more…
Walk access to Metrorail has increased 15% over the last 5 years, especially from those living within a half-mile of the station.
So more rail riders are choosing to walk to their Metrorail station, according to the 2012 Metrorail Passenger Survey. But who are these pedestrians?
Around 40% of Metrorail customers in the AM peak walk to the station. The survey found that younger people are much more likely to walk, with those under 35 were nearly twice as likely to walk to the train as those over 35:
However, younger Metrorail riders are also more likely to live within walking distance of their Metrorail station. Half of all riders under 35 live within a half-mile Metrorail, while 22% of those over 35 do. Younger people in our region generally are slightly more likely to live near Metrorail – 15% of everyone under 35 in the region lives within a half-mile of Metrorail, 12% for those over 35. The chart below shows how younger riders tend to live closer to Metrorail: Read more…
The strongest growth in ridership for Metrorail is coming from the inner jurisdictions of the District of Columbia, Arlington, and Alexandria. In these areas, home to 43% of all rail riders, ridership has grown twice as fast as the system as a whole.
Our 2012 Metrorail Passenger Survey can tell us where rail riders live, which is a key input for determining how Metro is funded by our regional partners. But it also gives us insight into where Metro’s growth markets are and how Metro’s ridership is evolving. Overall, rail ridership in the 2012 survey increased three percent since our prior passenger survey in 2007 – but where do our new riders live?
Where do Metrorail riders live? Ridership growth has been strongest among residents in inner jurisdictions, and has been holding steady in outer jurisdictions.