Notice the crowds on Metro’s Red Line Wednesday morning? They were huge — but Metro says there were fewer people in the system than on a typical Wednesday.
The agency said in a tweet that its ridership today was about 90 percent of last Wednesday’s. Closings and delayed arrivals for federal workers slashed about 28,000 trips from the system, as compared to last Wednesday, when 264,000 trips were taken.
So why the crowding then?
To get the Silver Line up and running, the agency imposed eight-minute intervals on all its trains. For the crowded Blue Line, this meant trains would arrive even more frequently than the normal 12 minutes during the morning rush. For all the other lines, the reduction in service meant more crowded platforms.
On the Red Line, where trains are to arrive at least every six minutes during the typical morning rush, there were at least two fewer trains per hour Wednesday.
A Twitter user pointed out that because there was a 75 percent reduction of service, with 90 percent of Metro’s usual ridership, the crowd levels were 120 percent of the norm for the morning rush.
That’s right. For every 10 people you count while squished on a Red Line train next week, imagine two more breathing heavily in your personal space. That’s what it was like to ride Wednesday.