Housing Complex

Shutdown: Bad for Metro, Great for Bikeshare

bikeshare3Yesterday, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced that it would be running only six-car Metro trains until further notice, rather than the standard eight-car trains. The reason, of course, is the federal government shutdown: With most federal workers furloughed, ridership was down about 22 percent, according to WMATA.

But at the same time, Capital Bikeshare ridership was high—in fact, by one measure, at its highest level ever.

Tuesday and yesterday were the 18th- and 17th-highest-ridership days in Capital Bikeshare history, respectively, according to a post on the Capital Bikeshare Facebook page. Tuesday set an all-time record for most rides by Capital Bikeshare members, with 9,028. And then yesterday broke that record, with 9,104 rides by members.

Part of the uptick in ridership is probably attributable to the lovely weather, but there have been plenty of other (non-record-breaking) days with lovely weather. Instead, it's likely that Capital Bikeshare's big numbers came from pleasure rides: Many of the thousands of people off from work decided to head to a nearby bar, cafe, park, or friend's house, when they typically would have taken Metro to work.

We'll see if this pattern keeps up as the shutdown drags on.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • http://www.dankrell.com Dan krell

    The metro shut down might have people rethinking what is convenient. During times when commuting to work becomes expensive, people seek to buy condos close to metro stops (http://dankrell.com/blog/2007/06/24/condo-craze-or-just-a-phase); but the shut down may have home buyers purchasing homes that are convenient to bike routes.