If you thought yesterday was a zoo on Metro, you were right. Metro has announced preliminary ridership numbers for yesterday’s rally insanity, and they were through the roof. 825,437 Metrorail trips were taken yesterday by first count, eclipsing the record from the 1991 Desert Storm rally, which drew 786,358 trips. The stories from Metro yesterday were of a system well past its breaking point, with long lines to enter the stations, and longer lines still to use the farecard machines.
I suspect that Metro could’ve raked it in if they’d decided to charge peak fares yesterday, or to charge for parking at their facilities, which would have helped a system facing serious deficits in their budget. I would’ve also bet money that Metro could’ve sold boxes and boxes and boxes of $15 SmarTrip cards for $20 apiece if they’d thought about offering them in exchange for exact change at the various stations. Sadly, Metro did neither, and missed out on a real opportunity to reap benefits in the crunch.