Metro Warns of Big Crowds This Afternoon

by Prince Of Petworth April 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm 35 Comments



Metro is advising customers to expect a busy afternoon on Metrorail today, as the confluence of several major events will overlap with the regular rush-hour period.

Factors that are expected to increase ridership include:
• A major rally scheduled between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the US Capitol that is expected to draw 30,000 attendees. Most participants will travel between Stadium-Armory and Capitol South, with additional ridership expected at Eastern Market and Federal Center SW stations.
• A Nationals game starting at 7 p.m. will draw large crowds to Navy Yard Station, and will increase ridership at the downtown transfer stations (primarily L’Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place).
• Cherry Blossom visitors traveling to/from the National Mall will continue to increase ridership at Smithsonian and L’Enfant Plaza station.
• A 7 p.m. Wizards home game at Verizon Center will add ridership at Gallery Place.

Travelers this afternoon may experience more crowded trains and stations during the height of evening rush hour.

Metro plans to operate additional 8-car trains during the afternoon hours, prior to the rally, along with extra Green Line trains between Mount Vernon Square and Anacostia stations during rush hour to accommodate baseball travel.

Travel Advice

Customers may wish to plan their travel to avoid the following stations, if possible:
• Capitol South (consider Eastern Market or Federal Center SW as alternates)
• Stadium-Armory (consider Potomac Ave as alternate)
• L’Enfant Plaza (consider other transfer stations)
• Smithsonian (Cherry Blossom visitors should consider Arlington Cemetery or Federal Triangle)

If a train is too crowded to board, please step back to the platform and allow the doors to close. Holding the doors can result in personal injury and can delay the train and all trains behind it.

  • defunctdcstreetcar

    It really is great that WMATA is:
    1) telling us that they cannot do their job
    2) coming up with lame excuses why they cant move people through their own system
    3) when they cant do their their job they are “telling us in advance” so we know not to rely on them
    4) further reinforcing why WMATA is a terribly run transportation system

    • Wrong blog. You’re looking for Unsuck DC Metro.

      • Anonymous

        Why, this is a post about WMATA. Ergo, the comments should relate to WMATA. And WMATA sucks,, so it would it appears this a perfect place to make the comment.

        • Seriously, if you just want to bitch about metro you should do it over there. It’s specifically dedicated to that purpose and there are lots of like-minded people to pat you on the back and tell you you’re right. *That* is a perfect place to make the comment.

          I am glad to know ahead of time that metro will be crowded this evening.

          • Anonymous

            Oh, I get it….In a post pertaining to Metro appears on a general interest DC blog, and someone makes a comment that you disagree with, that comment belongs on another blog. What are public fora are you thought policing pray tell?

          • Hey, I don’t think you know what thought policing is! If they’re allowed to state what they think, then I am too! And I think that first comment is a strange response to this post, and better suited to a different blog.

  • Patrick Thornton

    It’s unclear to me why if Metro knows all of these things why don’t they just increase the number of trains and the length of them to pick up the additional riders. And it’s not like these kinds of things don’t happen here. Why isn’t the system planned better to handle somewhat common occurrences in the Nation’s Capital?

    Nothing is more annoying than seeing crowded trains for a sporting event and realizing that Metro is only sending 6 car trains.

    • It says clear as day that the will be running additional trains this afternoon…

      • Patrick Thornton

        They shouldn’t need to warn us that the system will be crowded. They should just put in enough additional capacity so that the system just works. Nothing is worse than arriving at a station that is filled from track to wall and not being able to get on a train. The system should just work; I don’t need a preemptive apology.

        • Mony

          Except they have neither the money nor the infrastructure to increase the capacity as desired.

        • I mean they use just about all their trains during rush hour at this point. They are buying more but that kind of thing takes a while. They can’t really control the fact that multiple major events are going on at the same time can they?

          • Anonymous

            Eh. I’ve had my issues with Metro, but I can’t really get too upset about this one (at least not yet–unless something fails spectacularly during the evening commute). This is an atypical confluence of several large events, for which it’s not always easy or cost-effective to fully ramp up infrastructure. It happens (here and in many other large transit systems.) And the advance warning is not entirely useless. Unfortunately, I personally don’t have any schedule flexibility this afternoon, but if I did, I would appreciate the heads-up so that I could use a different station, leave extra time for my ride if necessary, or hang out at work for a while longer until the crowds cleared out.

        • Do you understand the effects of having almost 40,000 (stadium capacity is around 41,000 seats, not counting standing room only) people enter the metro system at two points (let’s just assume the crowd uses both Waterfront and Navy Yard)? There is no way to prevent crowding with the current system. You can’t just magically whisk these people away. Stop complaining and educate yourself on the engineering principles behind these issues. The city plans to bring back the street cars and add tunnels through the city to add capacity, but this will not happen overnight. If you don’t like crowds of people, move out of the city.

  • I really hope the 10 people going to the Wizards game arrive safely :)

    • Sebrof

      They’re playing the Heat, so it’s likely there will be a bigger crowd than normal

  • One of the few times I can say: thank god I take the Metrobus home from work.

    • Anonymous

      Ha, I’m always thankful I take MetroBus instead of MetroRail! I don’t have to worry about dangerous crowding at platforms, broken down escalators, tourists (many are not brave enough for the bus), sick passengers delaying service, being stuck underground in a tunnel, etc etc. I actually love taking the bus in DC, and I love not having to rely on the metrorail to get me places.

      • Anonymous


      • A rat fell out of a metro bus in front of me this morning at the bus stop, I may never ride one again.

  • What are people complaining about? I imagine that alot of people were not aware of the rally or how big it’s going to be, and it’s going to compound the usual problems of rush hour and baseball game congestion so they’re letting people know which lines/stations it will affect and how they are going to deal with it.

    I really wanted to go to the rally but it’s hot outside and I melt easily, so now I’m debating only going for half an hour or so.

    • There’s a certain subset of folks in this town who complain about WMATA no matter what happens. It’s a shame that none of them work for WMATA since they all seem to be experts on how to run a mass transit system.

      • defunctdcstreetcar

        And then there are those that are users of our public transportation system and as paying customers prefer to have a system correctly functions rather than to limp along and fail to meet the needs of the residents of the DMV area. If WMATA consistently ran an effective transit system (which even they claim that they do not) then I would gladly become a supporter of WMATA.

        • They’re not mutually exclusive groups, nor are they one and the same.

          I don’t care whether or not you “support” WMATA. It’s the near-constant gratuitous bitching and moaning (which accomplishes nothing) that I’m tired of.

        • I can’t wait to hear your complaints about how much construction sucks when they start building streetcar tracks though the city. Nothing will make your type happy, you just enjoy complaining.

        • Anonymous

          These people are usually called “suburbanites,” in the polite vernacular. Live where you work and this won’t be a problem. If you can’t, or “can’t” then just deal.

  • commuter x

    Seems like a classic ‘no win’ for WMATA.
    The proactive messaging is useful and demonstrates some consideration for the ridership but the prospect of a harry commute is universally frowned upon no matter how helpful the warning might be. All in all, I’m going to side with WMATA on this one. I appreciate the heads-up and accept the hassle as part of living in the nation’s capital, with lots to do and see.

  • sv

    Yeah, I actually didn’t realize all of this stuff was happening tonight, so it’s useful to know and I can take the bus home. With the nice weather and the flowers my usual crankiness has faded.

  • I <3 tourists!

  • Anonymous

    seriously, what’s so bad about metro? I’ve used it for 2 years, and except for maybe three incidents, my experiences have been uneventful and pleasant. Once I recognized its limitations, particularly on the weekends, and work within or around them, I find it meets my needs.

    particularly because i think recognizing the limitations of metro is a key to successfully using and enjoying it, i appreciate posts like this.

    • Katie

      If you’d lived here back before the decline (say, 2001) or before the Red Line crash, you’d see the deterioration of service. Taking trains out of automatic after the crash really slowed down the headways, for starters.

      • Anonymous

        Agreed. Metro has gotten worse.

      • Anonymous

        allright, i guess ignorance is bliss. my point of reference is the NYC subway. while it runs more often and serves more areas, my commuting experience in nyc was less pleasant. way more cluster-f days that throw off your commute and way more crowded on the lines and at the times i road.


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