Has it really been more than a week?
Yes, Virginia – after months of delays and millions in cost overruns, the Silver Line has been running relatively trouble-free for more than a week. But now that Bechtel has built it, are people coming to ride it?
Looks like it.
Metro officials said that in its first full week of operation (Saturday, July 26, at noon until Sunday, Aug. 3, at noon) people took nearly 220,000 trips to or from one of the five new stations, Wiehle-Reston East, Spring Hill, Greensboro, Tysons Corner and McLean.
On average, 15,942 passengers boarded a Silver Line train at one of the five new stations each weekday last week. According to Metro’s calculation that puts them roughly two-thirds of the way to achieving the goal of 25,000 weekday boardings after one year of service. Even if there is a novelty factor involved (it is after all the first new line to be opened in more than 20 years) those numbers are probably good news to Metro since summer is traditionally a slow time in the region. Come fall, when folks are back, we could see a boost in ridership (or not, which would be a bad sign).
So who is riding the Silver Line? Turns out most passengers are people who used to ride the Orange Line. Between 8,000 and 9,000 of the boardings at Silver Line stations were existing Metrorail customers who switched from the Orange Line to one of the five new stations. Metro estimates that roughly 6,000 boardings are new riders.
Wiehle-Reston East, the current end of the Silver Line, continues to be the busiest station, followed by the Tysons Corner station. Below you’ll see a breakdown of daily ridership by station.
Total Weekday Trips to/from the Five New Silver Line Stations
Wednesday: 32, 939
Weekday Entry/Exit Breakdown by Station