Government shutdown 2013: Metro ridership down 25 percent Wednesday

Trains and buses throughout the D.C. area saw lighter than average passenger loads Wednesday. Photo: Hatzel Vela

(WJLA) - Ridership on Metro trains and buses took a nose dive on the second day of the government shutdown, officials say, with many commuters reporting "eerily quiet" conditions throughout the system.

The Washington Post, citing WMATA statistics, indicates that 99,500 riders took Metro between 5 and 8 a.m. Wednesday. That represents a 25 percent week-to-date decline.

"Today is a very different day from yesterday," Metro spokesman Dan Stessel told the Post.

Overall, ridership on Metro is down 22 percent, officials said in a tweet, and the agency says it'll only run 6-car trains until the shutdown ends.

The sharp decline comes a day after WMATA officials announced no reductions in service despite the government shutdown.

A portion of WMATA's budget comes from federal funding, but the majority is fully funded jointly by the three jurisdictions where buses and trains run - Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Riders who regularly take Metro to and from work said on Twitter that many trains were noticeably lighter on passengers.

@DawnKathleeen @ABC7News metro was a scene in a horror movie empty

— Captain America (@SpartanProjectX) October 2, 2013

@ABC7News Stadium-Armory to Farragut West: surprisingly numerous vacant seats [& riding through Cap South, platform seemed "emptyish"]

— Katrina Avila (@KatrinaMarie8) October 2, 2013

@ABC7News I took the 9AM train in from Dupont to Jud Square. Normally pretty packed, but today it was eerily quiet.

— Margie (@margietime) October 2, 2013