President-elect Donald Trump and America are having a very big day. But the local metro system in Washington, DC, keeps pointing out that this inauguration doesn’t seem to be a very big day for attendance.
As the ceremonies began, DC’s WMATA tweeted that ridership is down compared to 2013, Obama’s second inaugural, and was even lower than 2005, when George W. Bush was being inaugurated for his second term:
Metro Ridership: As of 11am, 193k trips taken so far today. (11am 1/20/13 = 317k, 11am 1/20/09 = 513k, 11am 1/20/05 = 197k) #wmata— Metro (@wmata) January 20, 2017
. CORRECTION: The 317k figure above was from 1/21/13 (Inauguration Day).— Metro (@wmata) January 20, 2017
This followed similar tweets from earlier in the morning:
Final Metro parking update: Only stations >60% are E Falls Church (95%) & Van Dorn St (75%). All others <60%. #wmata #inaug2017 pic.twitter.com/tssY85yMQO— Metro (@wmata) January 20, 2017
As of 8:30, parking available at all stations with lots/garages. All under 50% except E Falls Chrch (65%) & Van Dorn (55%) #wmata #inaug2017— Metro (@wmata) January 20, 2017
Parking update: As of 7 a.m., parking is available at all Metro stations with lots/garages. No station more than 40% full. #wmata #inaug2017— Metro (@wmata) January 20, 2017
There were early signs this would be the case. As local reporter Matt Ackland noted, there were 900 bus permit requests for parking at RFK Stadium (the major city-run parking option for charter buses) before Inauguration Day in 2013, when Obama was sworn in for his second term. For Trump, there were a mere 200 for Inauguration Day, according to the Washington Post — while there are 1,200 for the Women’s March on Washington the day after inauguration.
There are still a lot of people in Washington, DC, particularly at the National Mall and the areas surrounding the Capitol Building. But the National Mall wasn’t yet full the morning of the event. As Trump prepared to take the Oath of Office, wide shots on news networks showed that while there are definitely crowds attending the event, there also is still plenty of place left to stand.