Thursday’s Metro ridership was slightly higher than on last year’s Independence Day, the agency said Friday.
Metro said people took 400,996 trips in the system between its 7 a.m. opening Thursday and its 11:30 p.m. closing — a 1.7 percent increase from July 4, 2018.
The Fourth of July celebration is one of the busiest annual events for Metro, with its trains bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to stations near the Mall. This year spectators came not only for the annual parade and fireworks but also for President Trump’s “Salute to America” program, which added a speech by the president and displays of military equipment and flyovers by military aircraft.
It is not known how many people attended the July 4 festivities — and protests — Thursday, but Metro’s ridership numbers offer some insight on how busy the day was overall when compared with previous years. Remember, some Metro riders weren’t going to the events at the Mall, and some who went got there by other modes. But it was clear across the system that many of those riding Thursday were visitors rather than locals.
Earlier in the day, many station platforms were relatively clear and trains had plenty of seats available. Ridership picked up as it got closer to showtime on the Mall on Thursday evening. Thousands of passengers headed to the Mall for the president’s address and expanded fireworks.
Thursday’s ridership was lower than the average weekday ridership of 594,000 trips.
If you’re curious to know the top 10 Metro ridership days, check out this story.