The Gallery Pl-Chinatown Station is the third-busiest station in the Metrorail system, with an average of 26,000 daily passenger boardings in May 2011. Combined with the Metro Center Station less than 1,000 feet away, these two stations facilitate downtown transfers on all five Metrorail lines, with the Yellow, Green and Red Lines at Gallery Place and the Orange, Blue and Red Lines at Metro Center. The Gallery Place Station consists of two side platforms that serve the Red Line on the upper level and one center platform that serves the Green and Yellow Lines on the lower level.
Redevelopment in the station area catalyzed by the opening of the Verizon Center in late 1997 has drastically increased the demand at this station, resulting in crowded conditions during the peak travel times throughout the station, including mezzanines, platforms and escalators. Weekday ridership has increased from an average of 6,500 boardings in 1997 to an average of 26,000 in 2011. Although ridership has stabilized over the past few years, more growth is expected in the near future with new CityCenterDC development currently under construction at the old convention center site at 10th Street and H Street NW.
Metro’s planners are currently undertaking the Gallery Place Station Access and Capacity Improvement study, with the purpose of identifying capacity constraints and developing improvement alternatives at the station. Similar to the Union Station Access Study, this study will provide simulations of the projected pedestrian environment on the platform at key milestone years, and will measure the effectiveness of the proposed capacity improvements.