Travelers taking Metro on Friday morning were greeted with something unusual for a weekday on the rail system: Breathing room.
The day after Thanksgiving falls in that questionable gray area between regular day and holiday. The federal government is open, but plenty of workers have the day off or simply take a vacation day to make it a four-day weekend.
Metro’s ridership numbers confirm what has been visible on trains and in stations. There were 108,151 trips taken between the system’s opening at 5 a.m. through noon, according to the transit agency. During the same period a week earlier, there were 285,682 trips taken.
Trains and stations were largely congestion-free, with riders reporting uncrowded conditions across the system.
— Michael S. Keeney (@michaelskeeney) November 23, 2012
It appears I’m the only person in DC going to work today. At least based on these empty #WMATA cars and stations.
— Hunter Grimes (@dcwesttex) November 23, 2012
Metro is operating regular weekday service for trains and buses. For anyone counting on Metro so they can head to work, take visitors to a tourist attraction or go shopping, this is a big shift from what happened last week.
Unlike the day after Thanksgiving, that Monday was a holiday for federal workers. And Metro’s ridership numbers were lower that day: There were 365,000 rides taken on Monday, Nov. 12, compared to 702,000 the Monday before and about 724,000 on an average weekday during the preceding weeks.
One thing Red Line riders need to keep in mind if they’re using Metro on Friday night: The system had announced that no work would take place between Thursday and Sunday night, but now that won’t be the case.
Metro will perform platform repairs at the Brookland station from Friday at 9 p.m. until the system closes, so Red Line trains will single-track between the Rhode Island Avenue and Fort Totten stations during that window. Expect to encounter delays.