Commuters make their way across the skywalk at the Wiehle-Reston East station during the first business day of operation for the Silver Line in July. (Photo by Amanda Voisard/For the Washington Post)

Metro officials are cheering new ridership statistics, announcing Wednesday that as of last week, an average of 15,000 riders are boarding trains during weekdays at one of the five new stations that opened July 26.  That’s a combined 30,000 trips to or from Wiehle-Reston, Spring Hill, Greensboro, Tysons Corner and McLean.

Already, Metro officials say, the Silver Line is at 60 percent of its projected ridership for the end of its first full year of service. Planners originally anticipated 25,000 boards at the five new stations during the line’s first year of operation. More than half of Silver Line riders are taking the train into Washington.

Officials said the bulk of the riders are people who are now using the Silver instead of another line (in most cases Orange). But they noted, the Silver Line had brought roughly 6,000 new riders to the Metro system. The Wiehle-Reston East station, the current end of the Silver Line, has already surpassed first-year ridership projections with 8,400 boardings, or 16,800 weekday entries and exits.

And it looks like people are taking advantage of the Silver Line to do their shopping. The Tysons Corner station is one of the few on the Metrorail system where ridership is higher on Saturday than during weekdays. On Sept. 20, there were 7,449 entries and exits at the station. The Tysons Corner station is the second-busiest of the new Silver Line stations.

“In addition to being a great way to travel in Virginia and D.C., we are pleased to see the Silver Line is also connecting the region more broadly,” said Metro General Manager and chief executive Richard Sarles. “On weekday mornings, nearly 10 percent of riders entering at the five new Silver Line stations are bound for stations in Maryland, and 17 percent of the riders exiting at the five new Virginia stations start their trips in Maryland.”

Other highlights from the Metro report:

  • 23 percent of Silver Line riders are transferring from a bus and using SmarTrip.
  • 12 percent of Silver Line riders are parking at the Wiehle-Reston East parking garage.

The top five destinations for Silver Line riders (in order of popularity):

  • Farragut West
  • McPherson Square
  • Ballston
  • Foggy Bottom
  • Metro Center

Metro officials also said that reverse-commuting ridership on the Silver Line is roughly 3,000 riders per day.