For immediate release: April 4, 2024

With Ridership Up and Crime, Fare Evasion Down, Metro Continues to Thrive

Metro has seen positive trends in recent months with growing ridership and more customers paying their fares, showing efforts to reduce fare evasion and increase safety are working. 

Highlights include:

  • 22 million bus and rail trips in March -- 14% higher than last year.
  • Fare evasion is down 50% on rail compared to last year.
  • Crime is down 19% in 2024 compared to last year.

The commute is strong

  • Peak commute hours in March saw an average of 50,000 entries an hour (from 8-9 a.m. and 5-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday), a 25% increase over March 2023.
  • Federal employee trips increased by 33%.

Weekends and special events bring a boost 

  • Weekend bus and rail ridership is above 2019 levels, thanks to more frequent service.
  • Smithsonian Station recorded its busiest days since 2019 with 69,000 customers trips on Saturday, March 30. 
  • Navy Yard hit a new post-pandemic high, with 40,000 customer trips on the day of the Nationals home opener.

Connecting the region to the nation and world

  • Union Station Metrorail ridership increased 23% over March 2023.
  • Dulles International Airport station ridership increased 38% over March 2023.

“We have made great efforts to improve service and safety across all hours and all days of the week, and it is paying off,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Randy Clarke. “We are moving customers in numbers that we haven’t seen in years, which boosts the economy, decreases congestion, and supports sustainability throughout the region. We thank everyone for taking transit and our team for delivering great service.”

Meanwhile, paid ridership is up 24% – which means fare evasion is on the decline across the system.

Metro has taken several steps to reduce fare evasion, including:

  • Retrofitted faregates at 33 of 98 stations so far, resulting in a 79% decrease in fare evasion at those locations.
  • New, more reliable fareboxes on 60% of Metro’s 1,500 buses, with a goal to upgrade all buses by the end of summer.
  • Easier access to fare payment through mobile wallet; mobile payments are up 74% on rail and 35% on bus over last year.
  • Simplified fare structure and reduced-fare programs for seniors, students, and low-income customers (MetroLift customers have taken more than 500,000 trips since the launch last July).

Thanks to new legislation in the District, Metro Transit Police have stepped up fare enforcement efforts, writing hundreds of citations for fare evasion in March and arresting more than 20 people with outstanding warrants. Systemwide, fare evasion is down 50% compared to last year.

With the addition of Special Police Officers and increased MTPD patrols throughout the system, crime is down 19% in 2024. Also, Metro continues to look out for customers with 30,000 cameras systemwide and real-time communication channels to report safety concerns, including the MYMTPD text line. 

As ridership grows, Metro will continue to incorporate innovative ways to serve customers throughout the region and keep them safe on their journey.