Metro, Capital Bikeshare ridership soars during National Cherry Blossom Festival

Rebecca Cooper

Metro saw the highest Saturday ridership in more than three years this past weekend as the National Cherry Blossom Festival wrapped up with its annual parade.

There were 638,474 rides on Metro on Saturday, the highest Saturday ridership since the Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear on Oct. 30, 2010. Ridership was nearly double that of an average Saturday.

Capital Bikeshare also blew its one-day record out of the water. There were 15,746 daily trips on bikeshare Saturday, which was 4,000 more than the previous daily record, which was set just one day before on Friday, when there were 11,551 trips, according to the Capital Bikeshare Twitter feed.

Metro ridership remained high on Sunday, with 405,154 trips, 83 percent higher than a usual Sunday. It was the busiest Sunday since July 4, 2010, according to Metro.

The high turnout is almost certainly attributable to the relatively late bloom of the blossoms this year, combined with the parade Saturday and the gorgeous weather.

The blossoms are still in bloom for those of you that didn't want to brave the crowds — and there were crowds, if the near constant gridlock around the National Mall both days were any indication. But while locals may be looking forward to the end of the festival for traffic reasons, there is a catch: Track work will begin again on Metro this weekend after a four-week hiatus. Planned work for April 18-20 will affect the Red, Orange and Blue lines.