Metro saw its busiest day in nearly three months Saturday as thousands of protesters returned to the nation’s capital to protest police brutality and systemic racism.

Metro carried nearly 70,000 passengers Saturday, the highest number of riders the rail system has carried since ridership plummeted and the transit agency reduced operations due to the novel coronavirus crisis in mid-March.

The last time Metro trains carried more than 70,000 passengers was March 20, according to available ridership data. Saturday’s ridership was up by about 153 percent when compared to the previous Saturday, when 24,000 people used the region’s rail system.

Although the number isn’t close to a normal summer day, when Metro averages more than 250,000 riders, Saturday’s bump represents an increase in demand that Metro has not seen in the months since the coronavirus restrictions hit.

Since mid-March, rail ridership has plummeted nearly 95 percent and bus ridership is down more than 70 percent, according to Metro.

Metro spokeswoman Sherri Ly said the agency increased capacity Saturday, including adding extra trains and reopening the first and last rail cars, which have been closed to create buffers between operators and riders and protect against the spread of the virus.

The additional capacity throughout the day was added so that “customers would be [able] to maintain social distancing space with those around them,” Ly said.

More than 10,000 demonstrators took to the streets of Washington, D.C., on June 6, the ninth day of protests in the District over police brutality. (The Washington Post)