Monday, January 12, 2009

Metro during Inauguration

I know, I promise I will get back to the house stuff soon enough, but this is a fun tidbit of information. An estimated 4 million people are coming into DC for the big day next Tuesday, and there have been reports on how the Metro cannot handle it. So, here's some fun math:

Let's assume the following:

The train is not full at time of arrival and one thousand people can fit on each Metro train car.

One train comes every 3 minutes, this 20 trains in one hour (this is generous, but the train should be running on rush hour scheduling).

Therefore based on this, 20,000 people can be moved from each metro station an hour in each direction moving a total of 40,000 people from each metro stop.

There will be 9 Metro stations close to the Mall for people to access: Smithsonian, L'Enfant Plaza, Federal Center, Capitol South, Federal Triangle, Metro Center, Chinatown, Judiciary Square, Union Station. Archives-Navy-Penn-Quarter station will be closed. Use the map below to zoom out and over to the right to see all the stops around the capitol/mall area.

Now, many of the stops are preceded by other stops, therefore, a full train will be arriving. So, we can really only assume one thousand people can get on the first train, with 100 people getting on at the next station (since the assumption lies that people will not be exiting at another downtown location).

So, let's say one thousand people per train for 3 stations, with 100 per train for the other 6 stations. 3 stations moving 20,000 people per hour with the remaining 6 moving 2,000 people per hour. This leads to a grand total of 72,000 people per hour moving out of the area.

4 million divided by 72,000 equals 55.55. Which means it would take 55+ hours to move 4 million people through the Metro.

Now, I know people will walk farther to get on a train (if they can!), but this just shows you how much the system is going to be swamped!

View Larger Map


Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Oi. This means that the trains will all be full before they even get into DC, doesn't it? There's no way I'll be able to get on the Metro at the Cleveland Park station? Ugh.

Ben said...

I don't think coming into DC will be quite as bad as getting out. But, yes, still bad. I think you'll be OK to get on at Cleveland Park. The rush to get on the train after the parade or the ceremony depending on the weather will be another situation.

Patrick said...

i'm bringing my heelys:

Laurel said...

My son is in DC too and I've been hearing about it and seeing some of the road closures on maps. In NYC on New Year's Eve, they close subway stops that are closest to Times Square, was wondering if the Metro would dare try that. Still, it will be exciting if you are nearby.

Jersey Girl in DC said...

We went up for the Phillies Parade after the World Series and the trains going in wouldn't open as they approached the city because they were too full with people. I think it's going to be a bit difficult to get on the Metro at Cleveland Park. Try taking the bus instead. If you can walk over to the Cathedral neighborhood, you can catch the 30 line downtown from Wisconsin Ave. I think more people will be trying to catch the train in than the bus because out-of-towners are more familiar with the Metro train system than they are with the bus lines.

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