Washingtonian - Metrorail lost so many customers in 2016 that its decline in passengers actually dragged down national light-rail and subway ridership into negative territory, according to a new analysis of federal transportation statistics. TransitCenter, a research and advocacy group in New York, found that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s 14 percent drop in rail passengers between 2015 and 2016, resulted in the national total of subway riders shrinking by 0.3 percent. Subtract Metro from the equation, and the aggregate of all other light-rail and subway systems in the United States grew by 0.6 percent.
The Review - then the DC Gazette - opposed the Washington subway system because, among other things, it would mainly serve a suburban elite and, as a transportation system it was enormously more expensive and less productive than light rail and buses with exclusive lanes. The same problem, incidentally, exists with railroad planning: the elites want extra expensive high speed trains but far greater ridership prefers traditional rail on, for example,the east coast route.