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Rail News: Passenger Rail

New segment ridership exceeds WMATA expectations


When Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority officials began planning the 6.5-mile Branch Avenue extension to the Green Line, they knew it would be popular, estimating 22,000 daily passengers after the first six months; 18,000 of them new riders.

But nobody could have guessed how popular the segment would be when it opened Jan. 13, two months ahead of schedule.

On Jan. 16, its first full day of operation, 26,847 people opted to ride the Metro — 14,777 were new riders.

A fluke? Not so. The next day, WMATA logged 28,715 trips — including 19,517 new riders.

The extension added stations at Branch Avenue, Suitland, Naylor Road, Southern Avenue and Congress Heights.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/19/2001