Metro took another step past COVID-19 shutdowns and service drop-offs this week with ridership reaching its highest levels since before the pandemic on the Fourth of July.
More than 210,000 people rode the Metrorail on Independence Day, the most in a single day since last March before the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a tweet and data from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. This year’s Fourth of July ridership count was more than five times greater than last year’s on the Metrorail, which WMATA estimated to hover around 37,000 passengers.
The rise in passengers comes after WMATA lowered fares and increased service levels to incentivize more rides on trains and buses after the agency suffered from ridership drops and revenue fallout during the pandemic. The agency staved off potentially devastating budget cuts earlier this year – including eliminating weekend service and terminating nearly half of its bus routes – after receiving an influx of federal stimulus funding, preserving service for the next year.
The District celebrated the Fourth of July with fireworks on the National Mall after most festivities were canceled last year, and the National Park Service also canceled this year’s annual parade that is usually held on the National Mall.