Where Have D.C.'s Metro Riders Gone?

Following an 11 percent drop in ridership in the last quarter, transportations experts are left scratching their heads as to where D.C.'s Metrorail riders have gone.

1 minute read

October 11, 2016, 8:00 AM PDT

By jwilliams @jwillia22

D.C. Metro

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Lori Aratani of The Washington Post reports that transportation experts and Metro officials are trying to explain just where the transit system's riders have gone to after an 11 percent drop in ridership during the last quarter. While Metro Board chairman Jack Evans believes former riders have switched to single-person private vehicles ("I can tell by the congestion on the streets"), surveys have shown that commuters are finding alternatives that include bike share, Uber, Car2Go, and an increase in tele-commuting. One former rider notes that the switch away from Metrorail may also have something to do with the system's poor performance.

Melissa Dentch, 30, is an example of someone who is no longer wedded to a single way of getting around. She lives 2 1/2 blocks from a Metro station and used to use the transit system to get to her job at Georgetown University almost exclusively. Metro’s troubles prompted her to find other ways.

“I kind of feel like I’m Metro’s worst nightmare,” she said, explaining how she gets around town. “I own my own car, I have a Car2Go membership, I own a bike and I do bike share. There are so many options for the price that Metro’s charging . . . unless things improve, people are just going to find other options.”

Saturday, October 1, 2016 in The Washington Post

stack of books

Planetizen’s Top Planning Books of 2023

The world is changing, and planning with it.

November 24, 2023 - Planetizen Team

Close-up of 'Red Line Subway Entry' sign with Braille below and train logo above text in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Red Line Extension Could Transform the South Side

The city’s transit agency is undertaking its biggest expansion ever to finally bring rail to the South Side.

November 24, 2023 - The Architect's Newspaper

Green Paris Texas city limit sign with population.

How Paris, Texas Became a ‘Unicorn’ for Rural Transit

A robust coalition of advocates in the town of 25,000 brought together the funding and resources to launch a popular bus service that some residents see as a mobility lifeline—and a social club.

November 30, 2023 - Texas Monthly

Green painted bike lane on street next to modern mid-rise apartment buildings in Seattle, Washington.

Seattle’s Bike Infrastructure Hamstrings Growth

Design standards that call for minimal road space allocated to bikes are limiting the growth of cycling in the city.

3 hours ago - The Urbanist

Tall palm trees against bright blue sky with snowy mountains in background. Los Angeles, California.

Winter Fun at Los Angeles County Parks

L.A. County is offering a winter edition of its popular and award-winning Parks After Dark program, providing opportunities for residents to come together and have fun in safe and welcoming spaces.

4 hours ago - NBC 4

Bird's eye view of houses in midtown Sacramento, California.

Sacramento Council Approves Upzoning Proposal

If given final approval, the plan would increase the allowable floor area ratio to permit denser housing development in single-family neighborhoods and near transit.

5 hours ago - Sacramento Business Journal

Senior Planner

City of Kissimmee - Development Services

Planner II

City of Kissimmee - Development Services

Senior Travel Demand Modeler

Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

"Rethinking Commuter Rail" podcast & Intercity Bus E-News

Chaddick Institute at DePaul University

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.