Operation: The Passengers

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MICCO station drawing, 1968 Opening Day, 1976 Subway Magazine, 1978 Underground Train, 1999
Click on any thumbnail for a full-size image.
Washingtonians had looked forward to subway service for years, so when the first train ran on 27 March 1976, 51,000 people lined up for free rides. By 1978 it had inspired its own magazine, a quarterly with suggestions on how to use the new system. Its quiet, carpeted trains have made it one of the most pleasant transit systems in the world. Though for the first few years of operation, most riders were former bus passengers, for the past two decades Metro has greatly increased total transit patronage in the region, and it now regularly carries over 650,000 riders per weekday.