Veterans Day 2014 Metrorail Ridership

December 18th, 2014

 Metrorail’s special Veterans Day schedule handily served commuters and concert goers alike.

On November 11, 2014, Metrorail served a reduced commuter market, as well as a large event on the National Mall, the Concert for Valor.  Metro ran a modified rail schedule, with near-peak service levels throughout most of the day, and Blue Line trains replaced with additional Yellow Line trains.

by Entry Time

Compared to a Typical Weekday:

  • Total ridership for the day was 515,000 trips, which is about 80% of a typical weekday
  • The AM Peak commute was roughly half of a typical weekday.

Compared to Veterans Day 2013:

  • Ridership was up by around 40%, or 147,000 trips.
  • Ridership at most stations was up by about 25-50%, while five stations serving the National Mall doubled and tripled last year’s numbers.
    • Federal Triangle and L’Enfant Plaza were over quadruple last year’s ridership
    • Ridership at Arlington Cemetery was down by half, coinciding with reduced service to that station.
    • The morning commute (until 9:30am) was up 13% over last Veterans Day, evenly across most stations. This is another sign that when the federal workforce, most impacted by the drop in the federal transit benefit, is (mostly) removed from Metrorail’s commute market, ridership is up.

Ridership from the Concert was clearly visible at stations on the National Mall (L’Enfant Plaza, Archives, Gallery Place, Metro Center, Federal Triangle, and Smithsonian). Following the concert ending, these stations handled over 36,000 passengers in 90 minutes – twice the volume of a typical weekday, and all crowds had been accommodated by 11pm.

Mall Stations entries

Change in Ridership by Station, Veterans Day 2014 vs. 2013.  Compared to last Veterans Day, stations serving the National Mall saw the biggest uptick in entries.

Vs. Vets 2013 by Entry

Change in Ridership by Station, Veterans Day 2014 vs. Typical Weekday.

  • Red-colored stations below = ridership lower than a typical weekday
  • Blue-colored stations below = ridership higher than a typical weekday
  • Franconia-Springfield was the only terminal station where ridership exceeded a typical weekday.

Vs. WeekdayWhat do you see in these patterns?  Did you use Metrorail on Veterans Day?

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  1. December 18th, 2014 at 19:35 | #1

    So WMATA closed the Blue Line for the entire day (inconveniencing the many private sector workers who still had to go to work) for crowds that were less than an average weekday until 8PM.

    Is there any evidence that the service adjustment for the periods earlier in the day were necessary?
    If not, will Metro come up with standards for when severe schedule adjustments are appropriate to learn from the experience?

  2. Steve
    December 23rd, 2014 at 10:55 | #2


    You failed to note that Veterans Day in 2013 was on a Monday and Veterans Day in 2014 was on a Tuesday. How much of the 13% bump up in 2014 Veterans Day a.m. ridership was simply the result of people who decided to take a 3-day weekend in 2013? Similarly, the Veterans Day concert may have influenced ridership earlier in the day as well. I don’t think you can claim growth in non-federal ridership as the biggest cause of the one-year difference without more study.

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