Archive for October, 2012

Data Download: Metrorail Ridership by Origin and Destination

October 31st, 2012 25 comments

Photo courtesy Josh Bancroft (click for original context)

Every day, Metro gathers a vast amount of information on how customers use the system – where and when they pass through turnstiles and board buses, how they pay, and more. There’s much to be learned from this data, and many in the past have done so.  We’ve heard through MindMixer, Metro’s new online community engagement site, that more detailed ridership statistics would be useful.  So in the spirit of open data and collaboration, here’s a data download of rail station-to-station passenger counts, by time period, by day of the week, for May 2012.

May 2012 Metrorail OD Table by Time of Day and Day of Week (.xls, 6.8 MB)

This data can answer many questions, such as: Where do passengers entering at one station go? Where do late-night riders enter the system? How does Saturday ridership differ from Sunday? Which stations are most commuter-oriented, and which are most lively at midday and evening hours?

What does this data tell you? Do you see any patterns? Feel free to post a link in the comments!

What other data that would help answer additional questions?

Technical notes about this data:

  • The data show average ridership, averaged across all days in May 2012, excluding Memorial Day. (We typically use May as an “average” month, since it falls in the middle of seasonal swings, is relatively unaffected by extreme weather, etc.)
  • Time period shows the time the passenger entered (not the time they exited).
  • AM Peak = opening to 9:30am
  • Midday = 9:30am to 3:00pm
  • PM Peak = 3:00pm to 7:00pm
  • Evening = 7:00pm to midnight
  • Late-Night Peak = Friday and Saturday nights only, midnight to closing

Chart of the Week: Metrorail and Metrobus Ridership 5-Year Trend

October 29th, 2012 Comments off

A recent analysis of 5 years worth of ridership data has shown the impacts of the economic downturn and subsequent recovery on Metrorail and Metrobus ridership. Metrorail ridership experienced a 2% drop in ridership in FY10 and then recovery in FY11 and FY12, 1% below FY09 levels. Metrobus ridership experienced an 8% drop in FY10 and began recovery in earnest in FY12, returning to just over 1% above FY08 levels.

Categories: Engage Tags: , , ,

What Happens to Metrorail Ridership on Holidays?

October 25th, 2012 3 comments

About ten days a year, Metrorail operates on a holiday schedule. On some holidays, most commuters have the day off, like Christmas, Labor Day, or Independence Day. But other days can be holidays for some, but not others – like Columbus Day, Veterans Day, or Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday – and these often fall on a Monday or Friday to make a long weekend.  Federal workers, whom we estimate at over a third of peak ridership, usually get these days off, as do others.  Metro often uses some holidays to do trackwork. So what happens to rail ridership on holidays?

To answer this question, this post examines total ridership on holidays over the past few years, by holiday, and by time of day. I excluded Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day, since these holidays are strongly influenced by how they fall in the calendar, and by the events on the National Mall on Independence Day.

Here’s a look at ridership on the remaining 7 holiday weekdays.  For the sake of comparison, I also show an average weekday, Saturday, and Sunday for May 2012.

Historical Metrorail ridership on holidays, compared to average May weekday, Saturday, and Sunday

So, all holidays shown have much lower ridership than a typical weekday, and are more in the range of a Saturday or Sunday. A typical weekday on Metrorail shows around 730,000 riders per day, with Saturdays about half that, and Sundays around a third of a weekday.  The holidays shown above are in the range of  200,000 to 400,000 riders per day.

Read more…

Categories: Engage Tags: , , ,

Join the Conversation about the Next Generation of Metro

October 18th, 2012 2 comments

MindMixer, our online community engagement tool, has been live for more than two weeks. We started the conversation to gather your thoughts on some of the key questions facing Metro and the region in the future, such as:

  • What do you think our priorities should be for future infrastructure investments?
  • What areas should be better connected by transit?
  • What concepts that work in other cities should we use here?

Response has been high, the discourse has been positive, and several great ideas have been proposed!  For example, some of the ideas include:focus expansion and development in the core before any end of line expansion; develop an all inclusive mobile application for next bus, schedules, SmarTrip® balance, and alerts; and add mezzanines, improved signage, and stairs to our stations.

As of of October 15th, there were 325 active participants who have cast 1,300 votes to our survey questions, posted 375 comments, and have generated 66 ideas.  The site has been visited 2,900 times, with nearly 2,000 by unique individuals.  The next set of questions is slated to go live on October 27, so please check back next week and invite your colleagues, friends, and family too. We’re listening!

Developer to Add Real-Time Transit Info

October 17th, 2012 3 comments

A real-time transit information screen at Java Shack in Arlington, developed by Eric Fidler:Image courtesy of

This is just a quick note to acknowledge what would hopefully be a trend in future transit-oriented development in the region.  According to the Washington City Paper article, Douglas Development wants an exception from a zoning code-required parking minimum for a new apartment building being planned for Tenleytown.  The generous community benefits package includes, among other things, ” installing a digital display with real-time bus and train schedules and information about nearby bike- and car-share stations.”

This is a great innovation that hopefully will be repeated in restaurants, cafes, bars, as well as new office and residential developments around the region.  The Washington area is rich with transportation options, and it’s exciting to see that third parties are engaged in helping promote alternatives to single-occupant vehicle travel.

The real-time transit information screen in the image above was developed by Eric Fidler, who blogs about transportation issues at Left for LeDroit.

Categories: In The News Tags: , ,

Nats Fans Take Metro

October 12th, 2012 Comments off

The Nats thrilled us last night with a ninth-inning home run to win the game, and the crowd at Nationals Park went wild.  And afterward, nearly 15,000 fans took Metrorail on their way out of the stadium.

The graph below shows number of entries at Navy Yard-Ballpark Station from 1 pm to midnight yesterday in blue, and the black dashed line represents the average ridership on days this month without a ballgame.  The gap between the solid line and the dashed line represents the station entries that are associated with yesterday’s game.  The total number of game-related entries to the Navy Yard-Ballpark station from 7 p.m. to midnight was 12,835.

Navy Yard-Ballpark station entries showing the spike of customers using Metro after last night's game.


Of course, not all Nats fans enter the system at Navy Yard. When you include increased post-game ridership at nearby stations (e.g. Capitol South), one third of all Nationals attendees used Metro after the game (14,786 total). Read more…

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