The Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Association reported a dramatic loss of passengers on both buses and trains during the months of June and July. Though WMATA significantly increased fares during the summer, Metro officials denied a correlation.

etrobuses had 11.66 million passengers in July, compared to almost 12.96 million passengers in July 2009. At the same time, Metrorail usage also decreased, from 20.5 million passengers to 20.2 million passengers, according to The Washington Examiner.

etro officials had expected a decline because of the recession and the high unemployment rate of D.C. WMATA had estimated a drop-off of about 200,000 riders, rather than 1.3 million.

Officials stated that they did not think the 18

percent fare increase, which was approved at the end of May and enacted on July 1, had any effect on the ridership.

Georgetown students agreed with WMATA’s

opinion.

“I had no idea [about the fare change], but I don’t use the Metro as often during the summer,” Nick Parrott (COL ’12) said.

Students also said that they increasingly used other methods of transportation in the summer months.

Yaffet Menna (COL ’13) said that he used a car in the summer, whereas during the year he rides the Metro every week. Menna said that no other factors such as fare increases affected his choice not to use public transport.

WMATA is taking multiple steps to increase its ridership such as staying open late for sports events and backing events such as “International Car Free Day.”

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