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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Reagan's funeral, D.C. visitors spur record-high June ridership for WMATA


In June, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) recorded the highest monthly rail ridership in the agency’s 28-year history — 17,649,609 passengers.

The ridership hike was fueled by former President Ronald Reagan’s funeral procession June 9, when a record-high 850,636 trips were taken, and the day after, when Reagan’s casket lying in state helped generate 763,121 trips.

WMATA posted average June weekday ridership of 706,557 passengers, marking the first-ever average weekday ridership exceeding 700,000. Typical average weekday ridership during fiscal-year 2004 was 650,000.

In addition, seven days in June made WMATA’s Top 10 ridership days, five of which occurred when no event took place.

The authority’s ridership typically spikes during June when more visitors come to the D.C. area. High gas prices also might have contributed to the increase, WMATA officials said.