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Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA continues record-breaking ways

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority employees and officials may be gearing up for higher-than-average ridership over the Fourth of July, but ridership in June already is rewriting the agency’s record books.

WMATA June 27 logged its third-highest ridership in its 25-year history, carrying 703,281 passengers. There was no special event, such as a rally or similar gathering, that could account for the record number.

"Despite yesterday’s sweltering heat, more people than ever before are traveling around the nation’s capital … by using Metro," said WMATA chairman Decatur Trotter in a prepared statement.

It may be record ridership, but that’s not so unusual lately. Like many passenger rail systems, WMATA has been growing its ridership at a strong and regular pace the past 12 to 18 months. So far, June 2001 has entered WMATA’s Top 25 ridership days list 11 times — each day exceeding 672,000 passenger trips, with three surpassing 700,000.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/29/2001