Last week, we took a look at current ridership patterns on Metro using the data WMATA released. Ben Ross has a similar set of data from 1995, and comparing the two shows how a lot has changed since 1995.
One of the biggest changes since 1995 is, of course, in the number of stations. Branch Avenue, Columbia Heights, Congress Heights, Franconia-Springfield, Georgia Ave/Petworth, Glenmont, Largo, Morgan Boulevard, NoMa (New York Avenue), Southern Avenue, and Suitland all don’t appear in the 1995 data set because they weren’t yet open at the time.
Morning peak ridership
The AM peak is the “purest” ridership period for measuring commuting. The vast majority of trips at that time of day are from home to work, so we can most easily attribute changes in a station’s ridership in the AM peak to changes in commuting patterns.
Overall, AM peak ridership has gone up 40% since 1995, from 169,000 to 236,000 trips for the average weekday.
How has ridership changed at the busiest stations?
|1995 Rank||Station||1995 Entries||2012 Entries||2012 Rank||% Change|
The most obvious changes in entries are due to line extensions that allowed riders to park or get off the bus closer to home. Anacostia lost riders to Branch Avenue; Pentagon to Franconia/Springfield. Silver Spring lost many riders when Glenmont opened, but residential growth made up for that.
Also noteworthy is the rapid growth of West Falls Church, fed by buses and cars coming in from the Dulles Corridor, and Union Station, where riders transfer from MARC and VRE. The growth at West Falls Church indicates the potential for Silver Line ridership.
|1995 Rank||Station||1995 Exits||2012 Exits||2012 Rank||% Change|
What stands out here is the eastward expansion of downtown. Exits at Gallery Place more than tripled, from 3,101 to 10,682, and Navy Yard, although not in the top 10, exploded from 322 to 3,772. Stations in the older areas of downtown and government offices, where there has been little new construction, saw growth in the 15-20% range. (Note that 2012 figures for Farragut North and Dupont Circle are distorted by the closing of the south entrance at Dupont.)
Want to run your own analyses of the 1995 data? You can download the scanned pages with all of the 1995 ridership numbers by station and time period (unfortunately, that’s the format we have it in) or AM peak ridership spreadsheet we typed in.
If you type in any more data, please post a link to it in the comments so others can use the data as well, and if you come up with any useful conclusions or visualizations, please send them along so we can share them with everyone!