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Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA registers record ridership, revenue


Continuing a nationwide trend of increasing ridership, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) posted in July its highest-ever average weekday ridership record for any month in its nearly quarter-century of operations.

With more than 616,000 trips per day, WMATA’s Metrorail registered 40,000 more daily trips than July 1999.

Also, WMATA’s fare box cost recovery ratio soared to 81 percent in July 2000. Fare box cost recovery ratio represents the portion of the system’s operating budget that’s paid solely by passenger fares.

"That number is just astounding," said Metro Board Member Katherine Hanley in a prepared statement. "Not only is it a record for Metro, it is one of the highest fare box recovery ratios in the country."

Passenger revenues totaled $30.5 million -- $24.1 million of which came from Metrorail fares, despite the absence of a fare increase since 1995.

Contributing factors included special events such as the July 4th celebration on the Mall, Dave Matthews and ‘N Sync concerts at RFK Stadium, and "Youth for Christ" conference at D.C. Convention Center, as well as unusually mild temperatures.

Also, Metrorail began late-night service the weekend of June 30, extending service two hours.

Currently, 11 of Metro’s top 28 ridership days were logged in July.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/26/2000