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Monday, January 28, 2013    

WMATA provided 779,000 rides for Obama inauguration, APTA says

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) provided more than 779,000 Metrorail rides on Jan. 21, the day of President Barack Obama's second inauguration, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

The ridership number represented about 71 percent of the rides that WMATA provided on the day of Obama's first inauguration in 2009, when the agency recorded its highest-ever single-day ridership, APTA reported in its news magazine, Passenger Transport.

The 2013 Inauguration Day passenger count will not be among WMATA's top 20 ridership days, in part because the day fell on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, which meant fewer people rode trains to get to work, the article states.

The system opened at 4 a.m. on that day and closed at 2:30 a.m. Jan. 22; the agency's usual closing time is midnight, APTA reported.

To help manage crowds and visitors attending the inaugural festivities, WMATA's Metro Transit Police Department worked with 150 public transit police officers from 15 agencies nationwide.

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