Metro reports dip in ridership from 2009 inauguration

A smaller (but still energetic) crowd turned out for President Obama’s second inauguration Monday. It was an unusual day for getting around the region, owing to the inaugural festivities and the federal holiday.

Travelers encountered packed or closed Metro stations, blocked roads and other headaches. An exact crowd count is not available, though an official told the Associated Press that turnout “definitely” exceeded 800,000 people.

Metro reports that 797,787 rides were taken on the rail system Monday. This is significantly lower than the 1.1 million trips taken on inauguration day in 2009. It’s tough to compare Monday with any other day, owing to the combination of inauguration and holiday, but Metrorail’s average weekday ridership was north of 723,000 in September (the most recent data available).

For Metro riders, service appeared to be feast or famine. Reports came in of uncrowded stations and plenty of open seats on trains heading downtown shortly before the ceremony; meanwhile, travelers at Federal Center SW and the other closed stations had to endure congestion and long waits (exacerbated by signal problems).

So how was your trip Monday? How were the stations, the platforms, the trains and the waits? If you drove, walked, took a bus or rode a bike, let us know about that as well. Share your experiences in the comments below.

For all Inauguration news, head here.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.

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Maggie Fazeli Fard · January 22, 2013

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