Metro ridership has surpassed predicted levels through the first three quarters of fiscal year 2022 by almost 40 percent, while remaining below pre-pandemic levels, according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
Around 28 million more passenger rides were recorded through March this year compared to the transit agency’s initial forecast for this period.
Metro ridership more than doubled as of March, with Metrobus responsible for approximately 60 percent and Metrorail for 40 percent. It continued to rise in April, reaching 300,000 Metrobus rides.
“These numbers are encouraging and welcome news for our regional mobility and economy,” Metro Board Chair Paul Smedberg said in a release. “While the Board’s budget assumed conservative ridership forecasts in the interest of fiscal responsibility, we are delighted that people are returning to the system more often than expected.”
Ridership slowed down during the peak of COVID-19 crisis, as well as the spread of the coronavirus variants.
“People returning to Metro reduces traffic, combats climate change, and delivers clients, customers and employees to federal workplaces and local businesses,” said Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld. “As the region transitions out of the pandemic and our services continue to improve this summer, we expect more residents and visitors will choose Metro.”