Friday morning’s Metro ridership was the lowest in at least three presidential Inaugurations, according to Metro, as fewer riders flocked to the system than would even on a typical weekday.
The transit agency said about 193,000 people had taken trips through the system as of 11 a.m. That’s significantly lower than figures from the 2009 and 2013 Inaugurations of President Barack Obama, and on par with ridership for President George W. Bush’s second inauguration in 2005.
By afternoon, the numbers had ticked up: riders had taken about 368,000 trip by 4 p.m., slightly outpacing ridership for an average Friday at that time — 350,000. But it wasn’t a perfect comparison; while Metro said it didn’t expect any significant ridership spikes through the evening, a normal workday rush would last through 7 p.m.
The number illustrated what many riders observed in the system morning: empty platforms, sparsely filled trains and little of the energy they’d grown so used to over the past two inaugurations.
By 11 a.m. on Jan. 20, 2005, when President George W. Bush was inaugurated, about 197,000 trips had been taken, just edging out Friday’s figures.
But Friday paled in comparison to the numbers for the Inauguration of the country’s first black president in 2009.
By 11 a.m. the day President Barack Obama was sworn in, about 513,000 Metro trips had been taken — and the day’s ridership totaled about 1.1 million, making it the transit system’s busiest day ever.
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said it was reasonable to assume this morning’s figure would double, meaning ridership for President Trump’s Inauguration Day will be in the 400,000-range.
Metro’s average weekday ridership for 2016 was 639,000.
This post has been updated.