Metro reports normal operations, ridership down

The Washington Metro is nearly deserted during a normally packed morning rush hour in anticipation of severe snow and bad weather in Washington
The Washington Metro is nearly deserted March 6 during a normally packed morning rush hour in anticipation of severe snow and bad weather in Washington. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

By mid-morning, Metro reported ridership on Wednesday’s morning commute was 65,000 trips as of 10 a.m. compared to 268,000 last Wednesday — about 25 percent of a normal weekday, on average.

In 2012, Metro said it had roughly 436,000 weekday passenger trips on bus and an estimated 729,000 weekday passenger trips on rail.

About 40 percent of Metro’s ridership is comprised of federal workers, so with the closing of the government, trains and bus routes were less crowded.

Metro said it had 600 pieces of snow-removal equipment to use as personnel cleared walkways, platforms, parking lots and garages.

On Tuesday night, Metro had canceled its door-to-door vehicle service for riders with disabilities. Metro turned on equipment that basically serves as an electric blanket for switches and the power rails on the tracks so they would not be impacted by freezing temperatures, snow and ice.

On Wednesday morning, many bus routes throughout the region were either canceled or changed their normal routes due to hills or curves on particular roadways.

Metro officials said they would continue to monitor the snow throughout the day and make changes accordingly to rail and bus service, if needed.

For a complete list of changes to Metro’s bus routes, go to wmata.com.

Dana Hedgpeth is the Washington Post’s lead reporter in covering the Metro rail and bus systems in the D.C. region and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) that runs them.
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Lori Aratani | March 6, 2013