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Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA tallies record ridership after farmer closes roads

On March 18, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) recorded its sixth-highest weekday ridership when a standoff between police and a North Carolina tobacco farmer blocked downtown Washington, D.C. roads.

Nearly 706,000 people used the WMATA’s rail system after the farmer drove his tractor into a pond on the Mall March 17. Several blocks of roads were closed, and police and transportation officials urged commuters to use the rail system, according to a prepared statement.

WMATA’s highest-ever weekday ridership of 811,257 passengers occurred on Jan. 20, 1993, when former President Bill Clinton was inaugurated.

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More News from 3/19/2003