Greater Greater Washington

Transit


Where do Nats fans ride Metro after games?

The Washington Nationals clinched the National League East last night while playing at their ballpark just a few steps from Metro. Many Nats fans avail themselves of transit. I wondered where fans go by train after the games, and WMATA provided the data for a few evening games.


Circles have area proportional to the numbers of trips.

The data set includes 10 evening games spread from April to August. Half of the games were during the week, and the other half were on Fridays or Saturdays. I looked at the number of boardings at Navy Yard starting in the same hour as the last pitch and going through system closing.

The 10 busiest destinations are a mix of urban and suburban stations:

Top 10 destination stations
Where fans go after Nats games
RankStationAverage trips
1Gallery Place587.20
2Vienna518.56
3Pentagon City404.70
4Shady Grove320.33
5Greenbelt306.10
RankStationAverage trips
6Franconia-Springfield297.89
7U Street292.20
8Dupont Circle290.20
9Columbia Heights277.90
10Crystal City268.00

The presence of 4 end-of-line stations suggests that many riders are headed home to the farther-out suburbs directly after their games. The high ranking of Dupont Circle, Columbia Heights, and Crystal City could signify the neighborhoods where more urban fans tend to live, or perhaps where they go for entertainment after the game.

Gallery Place's top ranking is a little surprising. It's probably up there because many fans are headed for a drink after game's end. Looking at the individual games, Gallery Place ranks in 1st place in half of the games in the data set. It also ranks 2nd twice, and 3rd, 4th, and 8th once each.

Is there an east-west divide?


Photo by Elvert Barnes on Flickr.
The region often talks about an east-west divide between jobs and housing. The eastern side of the region doesn't have many jobs, resulting in many long commutes toward Montgomery County or Northern Virginia.

It appears there might also be an east-west baseball enthusiasm gap.

Other than Greenbelt (#5) and Branch Avenue (#11), few stations on the east side of the region have much ridership following Nats games. Anacostia (#19), New Carrollton (#26), College Park (#32), and Suitland (#36) are the only other east-side stations that fall in the top half of destinations.

On the other hand, 6 east-side stations are in the bottom 10. And the other 4 in the bottom 10 are stations in downtown DC.

Bottom 10 destination stations
Where fewer fans go after Nats games
RankStationAverage trips
75Capitol Heights13.10
76Federal Triangle12.80
77Landover12.10
78Morgan Blvd11.80
79Cheverly10.40
RankStationAverage trips
80Stadium/Armory10.30
81Federal Ctr SW8.50
82Smithsonian8.40
83Judiciary Square6.30
84Deanwood6.00

It's also possible that this effect comes from the data set only looking at riders who enter at Navy Yard, not at Capitol South and Eastern Market. A fan going to New Carrollton will save a lot of time by walking to Capitol South for the Orange Line, but that trip is not counted; it only is if that fan rode from Navy Yard to L'Enfant Plaza and transferred.

Notes on methodology

The data capture everyone who enters the system after a Nats game, not simply Nats fans. It also includes stadium employees and anyone else who happened to board the Metro at Navy Yard after the game ended.

Because Metro often closes parts of lines on weekends, some stations received odd rankings on certain dates. To help adjust for this, the numbers in this post reflect adjusted averages. I excluded any station that was downstream from a closure on the date of a game, or any station that was closed for work. I also excluded the last station before the closure because that station generally saw much higher-than-normal ridership.

For example, on Friday, July 20, the Red Line was closed between Friendship Heights and Grosvenor starting at 10 pm. On that date, Friendship Heights (which ranks 30th overall) came in first. Shady Grove, which is almost always in the top 10, came in 52nd. These numbers clearly are an artifact of temporary service patterns instead of a trend.

The adjusted average has the same top 10 stations as the unadjusted average, though the order is different. The stations in 4th, 5th, and 6th place are affected because of closures.

This analysis also only looked at traffic from Navy Yard, even though we know that many Nats fans walk or take other transit to meet the Orange Line at Capitol South or Eastern Market. At Navy Yard, we can safely assume the vast majority of people entering right after the game are Nats fans. In contrast, that assumption probably won't hold as strongly for the Orange Line stations.

Here's the full list, shown ranked by the (adjusted) average number of passengers riding there from Navy Yard over all 10 games:

Destination stations
Where fans go after Nats games
RankStation
1Gallery Place
2Vienna
3Pentagon City
4Shady Grove
5Greenbelt
6Franconia-Springfield
7U Street
8Dupont Circle
9Columbia Heights
10Crystal City
11Branch Avenue
12Rosslyn
13Foggy Bottom
14Huntington
15Ballston
16L'Enfant Plaza
17West Falls Church
18Bethesda
19Anacostia
20King Street
21East Falls Church
22Mount Vernon Square
23Court House
24Grosvenor
25Woodley Park
26New Carrollton
27Silver Spring
28Fort Totten
29Clarendon
30Friendship Heights
31Dunn Loring
32College Park
33Eisenhower Avenue
34Glenmont
35Archives
36Suitland
37Braddock Road
38McPherson Square
39Tenleytown
40Union Station
41Farragut North
42Georgia Avenue
RankStation
43Van Ness
44Metro Center
45Cleveland Park
46Virginia Square
47Pentagon
48Shaw
49Rockville
50Southern Avenue
51Forest Glen
52Farragut West
53Van Dorn Street
54Prince George's Plaza
55NoMa
56Naylor Road
57Twinbrook
58Takoma
59White Flint
60Wheaton
61West Hyattsville
62Rhode Island Avenue
63Brookland
64Largo
65Congress Heights
66Waterfront
67Medical Center
68Benning Road
69National Airport
70Eastern Market
71Potomac Avenue
72Addison Road
73Minnesota Avenue
74Capitol South
75Capitol Heights
76Federal Triangle
77Landover
78Morgan Boulevard
79Cheverly
80Stadium/Armory
81Federal Center SW
82Smithsonian
83Judiciary Square
84Deanwood

Update: The original post showed circles with the diameter proportional to the number of trips, rather than the area. The map has now been updated.

Matt Johnson has lived in the Washington area since 2007. He has a Master's in Planning from the University of Maryland and a BS in Public Policy from Georgia Tech. He lives in Greenbelt. Hes a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is a contract employee of the Montgomery County Planning Department. His views are his own and do not represent the opinion of his employer. 

Comments

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Cool analysis! Thanks, Matt.

by Michael Perkins on Oct 2, 2012 10:29 am • linkreport

Ahh, those poor folk headed to U St, Col Heights, & Greenbelt that I stride happily by as I exit out at Mt Vernon Square.

by Bossi on Oct 2, 2012 10:31 am • linkreport

There's lots of people park at Pentagon City.

by jim on Oct 2, 2012 10:34 am • linkreport

Interesting about Gallery place. I guess you could look at bus activity on the X2 from Gallery place on those night to see if a lot of people go to there and hop on the bus to the H street corridor.

by Tom A. on Oct 2, 2012 10:40 am • linkreport

So much for the "Nats unite region" meme.

by charlie on Oct 2, 2012 10:41 am • linkreport

I bet if you included the other stations you would still see the east-west divide - sitting in the stands and looking at who most of the fans are, its really not surprising.

by AltHandleForThis on Oct 2, 2012 10:41 am • linkreport

A key question is what is the average exits at those stations when there is no game. District entertainment stops like Gallery Place, U street and Dupont may not see much drop when there is no game, suggesting an even greater percentage suburbanites.

by ArtR on Oct 2, 2012 10:56 am • linkreport

It's also worth considering that people living in PG County -- particularly toward its southern half -- may be more likely to drive directly to the stadium. It's very suburban area & the population with cars may be more likely to drive than bother with the few metro stops between Navy Yard & Branch Ave; and certainly more than packing into a train out to & transferring at L'Enfant to get to Largo. Parking costs actually aren't too terrible if carpooling in for a game.

by Bossi on Oct 2, 2012 10:57 am • linkreport

I think you're missing important context about Gallery Place and how it ranks. If you've ever been in that station when there are green lines emptying people leaving games, you'd see that Gallery Place seems to be the de facto place to transfer to the red line, which is a major factor, and is easily observed in the traffic in the station. But I would also guess that many sports fans are parking in the Gallery Place garage and then taking the green line south. Two additional factors make me assume this is the driving reason why is the case: sports fans in the DC metro area are usually attending games in the Verizon Center and may know the parking garage there best; also, and this is related, many of the Nats fans are people who come into DC from the burbs and may not be able/not want to navigate DC parking garages very well. Without a dedicated parking garage for out of DC residents to park in down in Navy Yard, it may be easier to go to a known, accessible place to park, then drive home in any direction. Also, if you've navigated to downtown from the Beltway you'd seen signs that direct you to the Verizon Center and the Yards that essentially dump cars into downtown at North Capitol, 7th, or 14th. Those are all relatively close to the Gallery Place parking garage.

by LL on Oct 2, 2012 11:03 am • linkreport

Like Jim, I was surprised to see so many using Pentagon City.

by Frank IBC on Oct 2, 2012 11:09 am • linkreport

LL: People transferring to the Red Line at Gallery Place wouldn't be counted, though. This isn't the numbers of people exiting trains at the stations, but the numbers of people who exit the Metro system entirely.

If people got out at Gallery Place and walked to Metro Center for Orange or Blue, then they would be counted, but I don't see why anyone would do that instead of just transferring at L'Enfant.

The point about people parking makes some sense, I guess, but is it really easier to drive from the suburbs, park downtown, and take Metro than to park

Maybe it's a lot of people who drive to work, park, then take Metro to the ballpark and back to their parking space. But that hypothesis would seem to also suggest there would be a lot of traffic to someplace like Farragut West where a lot of people work, but there isn't so much.

by David Alpert on Oct 2, 2012 11:11 am • linkreport

Regarding the East-West Divide: do the results differ significantly depending on whether or not the Orioles are also playing on a given night? The explanation for the divide could be as simple as people in Maryland prefer the O's to the Nats.

by David on Oct 2, 2012 11:14 am • linkreport

It amazes me that so many people take the Metro to Gallery Place rather than the 74 or P6. There is no one - aside from stadium workers - who ride the bus after the game - no one. I take it after each game and I'm consistently the only person. It absolutely boggles my mind that people will wait through that mess of people rather than take the bus. The 74 starts its line right at Half and O Streets, SW and the P6 picks up right at 1st and M - they're both so much easier and more efficient than the Metro.

by Shipsa01 on Oct 2, 2012 11:21 am • linkreport

I know that a ton of people in my building/neighborhood get together and walk to the games. We all live within half a mile of Waterfront station (which is one stop away), so that is an anomaly. There are a TON of Nats fans in SW...

by Chase on Oct 2, 2012 11:23 am • linkreport

I really think a lot of fans are just going up to Gallery Place to go out after the game. The area around the ballpark is coming up, but many fans are probably more familiar with the offerings around the Verizon Center, and it's an easy trip.

by Adam L on Oct 2, 2012 11:25 am • linkreport

I think David has a good point, the O's (especially this year since they're having their own renascence) may not attract as many MD fans. I also know I have a number of friends who live up in Baltimore who actually said they prefer to carpool and drive, than deal with parking at Greenbelt or New Carrollton and take the train (akin to what Bossi said).

by Gull on Oct 2, 2012 11:27 am • linkreport

Remember there are visiting fans from the opposing team travelling back to their hotels. Many of which are downtown and Gallery Place, Pentagon City and Crystal City have many hotels nearby. This will especially be true for Philly’s and Met’s games.

by Joe H on Oct 2, 2012 11:47 am • linkreport

In addition to fans, a good number of park employees probably take public transportation to get to and from work. For all the griping about fans having to leave a late game at midnight because Metro is closing, employees might not even have that option at all. They're the ones who really get burned by the fact that Metro doesn't always stay open after the game is over.

by Rob P on Oct 2, 2012 12:15 pm • linkreport

Thanks for the analysis. With respect to the O's, if the games include home games against the O's or the Phillies, are there more people traveling to Greenbelt after those games? Games on Mon-Thursday nights may not show a pattern for Phillies games, but for Friday to Sunday games, might see Philly fans driving from PA or DE to Greenbelt to go to the game.

Would be interesting to see this analysis repeated in 2013 and 2014. In 2014, Wiehle Ave-Reston is likely to be a major destination after the games and drain some traffic away from Vienna. If the Nats go far in the playoffs, the East-West divide may be less apparent in 2013.

by AlanF on Oct 2, 2012 12:17 pm • linkreport

10 games is a really small sample.

by james on Oct 2, 2012 12:24 pm • linkreport

I normally take Metro for Nats games, but it's not uncommon for me to park at a free or cheap garage near another Metro stop.

by selxic on Oct 2, 2012 12:25 pm • linkreport

I'm glad you've had good experiences with the buses, Shipsa. That has not been my experience. I live along the P6 route, and would love to take it home. But...the bus gets stuck in stadium traffic, and you end up waiting 30 minutes or more for a bus that was supposedly only 3 minutes away when you got to the stop (I tried it once...never again...I spent at least 10 minutes looking at the bus just sitting, stuck in traffic, less than a block from me). Sure, it turns off M pretty quickly after that, and so you're not stuck in the miserable traffic for long once you get ON the bus, but in the time it takes to wait for the bus to navigate stadium traffic, I can be on a train (that moves much faster and stops less frequently than a bus) and on my way home. Perhaps it would be wise to detour the bus slightly so that it avoids M for an hour before first pitch and around the time the game is expected to end. I'd gladly walk another block to avoid that mess.

by Ms. D on Oct 2, 2012 12:26 pm • linkreport

Cool data. Why can't WMATA do stuff like this themselves?

by Jasper on Oct 2, 2012 12:27 pm • linkreport

Here are my theories:
1. Maybe the Eastern side of the region is closer to Baltimore and there are still many loyal O's fans there and elsewhere in Maryland (including yours truly).

2. Or did you consider the fact that central Prince George's (where the Blue and Orange travel) has the highest proportion of minorities in the suburbs, and they tend not to follow baseball as much as whites?

As for Pentagon and Crystal City: ???

by King Terrapin on Oct 2, 2012 12:29 pm • linkreport

Hmm.

If you had up the numbers MJ put it, it comes to 3600.

A very random esitamte based on relative circle size suggests maybe the remainder kicks out 6100; a total of around 9000.

(I'm sure MJ has the numbers).

Let's say 10K, and at 1.80 a ride, that is about $18,000 in revenue from riders boarding at Navy Yard.

by charlie on Oct 2, 2012 12:29 pm • linkreport

@Bossi: In the words of Bill the Cat, "Thbbft!"

by dcd on Oct 2, 2012 12:31 pm • linkreport

James, 10 games is 12.5% of all home games. While it would be awesome to run every home game through this analysis, 12.5% seems like a reasonable sample to me. There are other factors that we might like to control for, such as heat, weather, and opponent, but a sample of 10 is a decent jumping off point. My only criticism is that I think splitting it evenly between weekends and weekdays too heavily favors weekends. Weekends are only 2/7 of the week, and weekend games are frequently during the day.

But, as a quick sketch of who rides the Metro to/from games, this works.

by Ms. D on Oct 2, 2012 12:32 pm • linkreport

@Ms. D, I'm not necessarily saying that the results are wrong or that they'd be different had the analysis been run on all 80 games so far this season. However, statistically speaking, 10 is an extremely small sample. The fact that 10 is 12.5% of 80 is irrelevant.

My only real point is that I personally wouldn't conclude anything based on these numbers. I seriously doubt many of the differences are statistically significant.

Again, statistically speaking, I wouldn't read too much into this. That is to say, I wouldn't be shocked if the full population of data gave a different story. People may spend time trying to answer questions that are just mirages of a small sample size.

Still, this is a fun data visualization and fun to think about.

by james on Oct 2, 2012 12:44 pm • linkreport

"Cool data. Why can't WMATA do stuff like this themselves?"

@Jasper, my guess is they don't have the budget to employ a stats/data staff. But, it would be really, really cool if they just made all of the data publicly available. I'm not sure why they'd keep this confidential. I'm not sure why Matt could only get 10 games.

by james on Oct 2, 2012 12:46 pm • linkreport

@james:
I only asked for 10 games. I didn't want to ask for too much and get nothing in return. Someone on WMATA's staff had to run a spreadsheet for each date, so 10 games took X amount of time, and 80 games would've taken 8*X time.

I tried to get a range of dates, days, and seasons. Biggest bang for the buck, was the idea.

by Matt Johnson on Oct 2, 2012 12:51 pm • linkreport

It's funny how georgraphy becomes a euphemism for "other things". Baseball games aren't cheap (once upon a time they were--ask anyone who took the bus and sat in the bleachers), neither is parking (or parking + Metro). I'd guess the ridership maps nicely onto median income and ticket buying. PG County is far from poor, in terms of median or mean income, but has lots of poverty. Also, baseball is less popular among African-Americans than it once was and the number of African-American ballplayers has been declining for years.

by Rich on Oct 2, 2012 12:52 pm • linkreport

@Matt, is the data available to you to see if there were surge in boardings at South Capitol and Eastern Market stations after the end of the 10 games? The size of the surge compared to normal traffic levels at those hours would provide a rough estimate of how many fans are taking buses or walking to those stations after the games and taking the Orange & Blue lines home.

by AlanF on Oct 2, 2012 12:55 pm • linkreport

@AlanF:
No. I only have boardings at Navy Yard.

by Matt Johnson on Oct 2, 2012 12:56 pm • linkreport

I'm surprised Union Station is so low on the list. Commuter rail service ending too early?

by H Street LL on Oct 2, 2012 1:01 pm • linkreport

@Matt, thanks for the explanation. If they had someone having to create spreadsheets for each date, it supports my assumption that they just don't have the budget to employ people who could do this stuff really easily. That's too bad because they probably have a lot of good data to be explored.

by james on Oct 2, 2012 1:06 pm • linkreport

Frank IBC,

Parking. There is a large (free) pentagon parking lot on ArmyNavy across the street from the PCmall where a lot of Nats fans park and ride in. In other words there are a lot of drive closer, park, and ride in fans.

by RJ on Oct 2, 2012 1:13 pm • linkreport

I echo the wish that WMATA should just put all the data available via a web service, without having to submit a request. We would certainly many other interesting analyses of Metro data.

by M.V. Jantzen on Oct 2, 2012 1:18 pm • linkreport

This would seem to indicate the need for more green line trains after Nats games that go all the way to Greenbelt rather than just shuttles that stop at Mt Vernon Square.

by Ben on Oct 2, 2012 1:29 pm • linkreport

Not that it is really a big change, but I and pretty much eveyone else I know that lives in Shaw, tends to leave the station at Mt Vernon becuase sometimes it is 20 minutes or so between trains that go past that station and it is quicker to walk.

It does seem a number of people go beyond Mt Vernon and the 1 in 3 or 4 train that keeps going is usually pretty crowded. Might it make more sense if the trains turned around at Ft Tottem?

by nathaniel on Oct 2, 2012 1:31 pm • linkreport

@ H Street LL

Yes, except for the MARC Penn Line, and Baltimore area residents are all Orioles fans.

What would be interesting to see is if the Orioles and Nationals played each other in the World Series (yes, its possible) MARC ran special service for those games (probably on the Camden Line). There would definitely be huuuge demand for such a service, especially since the Baltimore Camden MARC terminal is right at the Yard.

by King Terrapin on Oct 2, 2012 1:31 pm • linkreport

@matt
I know at least one game that I went too took place when the red line was closed past Gallary Place towards Silver Spring. therefore everyone giong that way on the Red Line had to leave the station at Gallary Place for shuttles. Did you use any games from that weekend.

by nathaniel on Oct 2, 2012 1:33 pm • linkreport

@james--

While this might be only a sample of 10 games, each game is a sample of several thousand rides. In a sense, each of the 10 games is like it's own poll, and keep in mind that the typical national presidential poll is of 1000-3000. I don't think there's any problem with the amount of data. Matt has already discussed the anomalies that correspond to station closings and I suspect that if the counts at any of the top stations had shown unusually high variance, Matt would have commented on it. Sure, more data exist and it would be nice if we could just download all of it, but in this case I doubt we'd really learn anything different.

by thm on Oct 2, 2012 1:39 pm • linkreport

I know as a Nats fan in PG county that lives about 2 miles from Largo town center stop, I would much rather drive another few miles to Branch Ave or Suitland and go directly to the game without transferring. It cuts a good 25 minutes off my travel time. I'm driving to park at a Metro garage, anyway.

by Cybrbanana on Oct 2, 2012 1:42 pm • linkreport

1) A plausible explanation for Gallery Place: Many who work downtown are most likely driving to work, leaving the car in the garage, taking the train to the game, and returning to their downtown parking garage after the game. Gallery Place is the closest station to many of those downtown garages that doesn't require a transfer. If this is the case, you'll see a big difference between weekday and weekend games.

2) There's more likely an O's fan/Nats fan divide than an east-west divide. Many Marylanders (even in MoCo) have kept their loyalties to the O's. Most Virginians are Nats fans now (if they even ever followed the Orioles). That's why there are so many more trips to Vienna than Shady Grove, for example.

by c5karl on Oct 2, 2012 1:46 pm • linkreport

Is anyone else surprised L'Enfant Plaza comes in at #16 on the list? Who is getting off there after a Nats game? I would think almost all people living in SW would use Waterfront if they would bother getting on the Metro (as Chase says, lots of people walk from that close). There are a couple of hotels and I guess some people could park around there. Am I missing something or are those hotels and parking a bigger draw than I think?

by Steven Yates on Oct 2, 2012 2:02 pm • linkreport

I never understood why a shuttle train was not on standby for when the games let out. At 10pm there are close to 20 minute headways between trains, the platform is a disaster and the trains are crazy too! Have a train that turns around at Navy Yard and again at Mt Vernon Square, keep going in circles. 3/4 of the people on the Green trains exit at L'enfant or Chinatown, and the biggest chunk of the remainder are taking it to Ft Totten to transfer to Red there (as opposed to dealing with the crowds exiting at Chinatown)

by Gull on Oct 2, 2012 2:06 pm • linkreport

"I'm surprised Union Station is so low on the list. Commuter rail service ending too early?"

Maybe, but I would guess most people going to Union Station are taking the Circulator, so they wouldn't show up on this map. I do that pretty frequently to transfer directly to the red line instead of dealing with the end of game crush at Navy Yard and Gallery Place.

by SV on Oct 2, 2012 2:46 pm • linkreport

Having ridden the Orange Line since it was built and having used it for Nationals games since the return of baseball to Washington, by far the heaviest baseball traffic is when the Phillies are playing and their fans come into New Carrollton, enough to skew the stats for other games. O's ridership is small, any other team negligable.The common perception among the majority of Nats fans, most of whom were not born when the Orange Line was built, is that the Orange Line after Capitol Hill can result in Death. I heard some Nats fans scream to a fellow inebriated fan who was mistakenly about to board an Orange Line Train after a game " Man we saved your life, do you know where that train goes". In all my years of riding I have never felt unsafe on the Orange Line at any hour, but I do know people who will drive past the Orange/Blue Lines to get to Greenbelt.

by Larry M on Oct 2, 2012 3:09 pm • linkreport

@c5karl -- I don't think it's simply a case of Nats vs O's for Washington area Marylanders, it's actually 'Nats' vs 'Os' vs 'too hard to get to either.' Getting from the Montgomery portions of the Red Line to Southeast is daunting prospect. On weeknights because of time constraints - and weekends because of track maintenance concerns. Many Montgomery residents are Nats fans now but opt to watch or listen at home because it's just too tough to get down to SE on a regular basis.

DC United's fan data (sorry don't have a link at the moment) also shows more fans making the easier trip from NoVa to RFK. It's not that Marylanders don't like the team, it's just harder to get there. And that's not down to competition up 95 in Baltimore.

by Kev29 on Oct 2, 2012 3:16 pm • linkreport

I am surprised by the number of people who are getting off at Gallery Place - I assumed most people were transferring to Red there. I think the assumption about people going out after also applies to Dupont/U St/Columbia Heights, people are probably getting of there to go out as well as those who live there.

@Ben
This would seem to indicate the need for more green line trains after Nats games that go all the way to Greenbelt rather than just shuttles that stop at Mt Vernon Square.

Lately after games I have noticed that every other train loading up with Nats fans has been headed for Greenbelt, so maybe they have realized this.

@Gull
I never understood why a shuttle train was not on standby for when the games let out. At 10pm there are close to 20 minute headways between trains, the platform is a disaster and the trains are crazy too! Have a train that turns around at Navy Yard and again at Mt Vernon Square, keep going in circles.

This is what they do, they have extra trains waiting down the line and at Branch Avenue to head for Navy Yard and pick people up. The gap trains bypass all other stations and only start picking up at Navy Yard.

by MLD on Oct 2, 2012 3:18 pm • linkreport

About the low ranking for Union Station: the last MARC Penn Line train departs at 10:30 PM. Pretty early for weeknight game given travel time to Union station, so I would expect few Nats fans take it. If MARC ever expands to a 7 day Penn Line service with the last train departing Union Station after 11:30 PM on weeknights and has evening trains on weekends, there would be more traffic to Union Station. However, the Circulator bus with a direct connection to Union Station would draw off Metro ridership.

I haven't looked and don't recall off-hand, but have similar recent data mining efforts been done for Metro traffic patterns for the Capitols, Wizards, Redskins home games? I expect data for the Caps and Wizards will be more muddled because both Gallery Place and Metro Center would have to used and both would have a lot of boardings from those who did not go to the game, but it should show interesting patterns.

by AlanF on Oct 2, 2012 4:12 pm • linkreport

Very cool analysis, thanks for doing this Matt!

by JDAntos on Oct 2, 2012 6:15 pm • linkreport

Kev29, are you referencing the study that said most of United's fans are from Virginia? The other local pro teams have similar fanbases. None of the teams have fanbases that are equally divided into MD, DC and VA residents.

by selxic on Oct 2, 2012 9:21 pm • linkreport

Matt, how come the trip average figures don't all round to the nearest 0.1?

by DavidDuck on Oct 2, 2012 9:47 pm • linkreport

@DavidDuck:
Because some stations were excluded. For example, on one date, Franconia-Springfield was closed. So the numbers for Franconia were averaged over 9 dates instead of 10.

by Matt Johnson on Oct 2, 2012 9:49 pm • linkreport

Is there any info on bus ridership around the stadium

@ Gull

I Wish some trains would skip stations like Morgan BLvd,Stadium Armory, Gallery Place and Navy Yard during games due to trains waiting for people at those stations or because the trains are packed for everyone else along the line who tries to get on.

As someone who lived near Stadium Armory and Fedex Field it is total hell for residents when there are games and there is no benefit. Many times during games at Fedex Field you would see people walking, spitting on the lawns of people who live on Morgan Blvd and other disrespectful stuff.

by kk on Oct 2, 2012 10:01 pm • linkreport

3/4 of the people on the Green trains exit at L'enfant or Chinatown, and the biggest chunk of the remainder are taking it to Ft Totten to transfer to Red there (as opposed to dealing with the crowds exiting at Chinatown)

The data doesn't support this at all. While Gallery Place has the most exits, U Street and Columbia Heights combined have nearly as many. When you add in Greenbelt, those three stations combined have nearly 50% more exits that Gallery Place, and more than Gallery Place and L'Enfant Plaza combined.

by dcd on Oct 3, 2012 7:43 am • linkreport

dcd: Remember, this data set just shows where people exit the system entirely. People who get off the train at L'Enfant or Chinatown to switch trains don't add to the size of those circles on this map.

I think Gull is saying that by observation, about ¾ of the people on a Green Line train get off that train at those stations. That's not incompatible with the data, because the data set would count those people in Vienna or Crystal City or Dupont Circle or some such.

by David Alpert on Oct 3, 2012 8:11 am • linkreport

High ridership to downtown locations may also include fans from the opposing teams who are staying in hotels.

by steve strauss on Oct 3, 2012 11:17 am • linkreport

Hi Matt. Gallery place is #1 because it is the link to the Red line. The vast majority of fans come from the wealthy close in suburbs of MD and N. VA (though I am sure after a game some fans grab a bite or drink in Gallery Place depending on the time it ends and day of the week)

by Henry on Oct 3, 2012 11:31 am • linkreport

@Henry:
Someone riding from Navy Yard to Shady Grove is shown in the Shady Grove "dot" on the map, NOT in the Gallery Place "dot".

The number of people shown at Gallery Place are ONLY the people who LEAVE THE FAREGATES. If you simply walk from the Green Line to the Red Line, you're NOT counted at Gallery Place.

by Matt Johnson on Oct 3, 2012 11:36 am • linkreport

@Shipsa01 - That's a good tip about riding the bus! It's usually my preferred option in the evenings, when the trains are packed. ALSO, buses usually run later than the Metro anyway, so they should publicize that.

by MH on Oct 3, 2012 12:26 pm • linkreport

Chiming in late, but there are a lot of Nats fans in Capitol Hill and Hill East, which are both on the east side of the region. Indeed, one of my neighbors recently said something about how he thinks of the Nats as our neighborhood team. This is just anecdotal, but when I go to a Nats game, I usually just walk home or take the Circulator to Eastern Market and walk from there. (If I am lucky, a V bus comes along and I take it to Potomac Avenue, but it's not worth waiting for it given its schedule.) It's much easier and you can stop on 8th Street for a drink or something to eat. Why deal with the crowds at Navy Yard and the hassle of transferring at L'Enfant? Similarly, why walk to Capitol South? By the time I get there, I might as well walk home (between Potomac Avenue and Stadium-Armory). So, as much as I love Metro, it makes no sense for me, and I imagine a lot of other fans living in my part of the east side of the region to use Metro. So, low ridership at Capitol South, Eastern Market, Potomac Avenue and Stadium-Armory is certainly not due to a lack of interest or some concentration of Orioles fans in the neighborhoods they serve. At least in my case, it's certainly not because I am an Orioles fan! Still can't forgive Peter Angelos for playing such a large role in depriving us of baseball for so long! :-)

by rg on Oct 3, 2012 12:46 pm • linkreport

I think it would be interesting to see what the numbers would be for people boarding Capitol South or even Eastern Market. I live near RFK and if I don't walk home I always walk to one of those, usually Capitol South. I know many others with destinations on the blue/orange lines that do the same. You can stay a little later at those late night games if you bypass Navy Yard too (I was at the rain delayed 13 inning game).

by Jennifer O. on Oct 3, 2012 12:47 pm • linkreport

I would guess that at least some people exiting at Gallery Place are people stopping off for a post-game beverage/snack, who might return later to complete their trip on the Red Line. (Many cities structure their transit fares such that you can exit the station for a transfer, which encourages these sorts of stop-overs.) If that were true, it also shows that there's a substantial market for post-game food & beverage around the ballpark.

Hadn't known that the Pentagon parking lot south of I-395 was free after hours. That, and the free parking at Crystal City, probably explains a lot of trips to those stations. Given that it's free to park at those close-in stations right off I-395, I highly doubt that anyone is dense enough to battle traffic to park at Gallery Place instead.

by Payton on Oct 3, 2012 8:16 pm • linkreport

Matt

RE: East-West divide

I can't speak for outside of DC, but within DC I'm willing to bet Nats fans on east side are more likely to use the bus. For example, when my Ward 7 neighbors go home from the game they walk from stadium Eastern Market or Potomac Ave, then catch the bus home.

by Veronica O. Davis (Ms V) on Oct 5, 2012 10:51 am • linkreport

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