The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Metro Inauguration Day trips top 500,000, but still lowest since 2005

Inauguration attendees stop to take a picture at L’Enfant Plaza about 7 a.m. (Photo: Arelis R. Hernández)

Friday’s Metro ridership was the lowest in at least two presidential Inaugurations, and it was also lower than that of an average weekday, the agency said Saturday.

Metro said people took 570,557 trips in the system between its early 4 a .m. Friday opening through midnight closing.

The figures are significantly lower than those from the 2009 and 2013 Inaugurations of President Barack Obama; 1.1 million trips in 2009 and 782,000 in 2013, according to Metro.

The numbers were also significantly lower than Saturday, when thousands of people overwhelmed the rail system to get to the Women’s March on Washington.

By 11 a.m. Saturday, people had taken 275,000 Metro trips, about 82,000 more than at the same time Friday. By midafternoon Saturday, ridership was approaching the half-million mark, officials said.

Backups on Metro as people streamed into D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington

By 11 a.m. the day Obama was sworn in for his first term in 2009, 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.

Friday’s lower numbers reflect what many riders observed; many had remarked about empty station platforms and trains with plenty of seats available.  In some stations, there appeared to be more police and Metro employees than riders.

The numbers are also significantly lower than average weekday ridership of 639,000 trips.