Sleeve Appeased Critics

trumpThe  Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority distributed sleeves for the Inauguration Day SmarTrip discount passes. The sleeves commemorated the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the nation’s 45th president. 

     Metro officials issued the sleeves in response to criticism that Trump’s picture did not appear on this year’s Inaugural SmarTrip cards. Instead, an image of the White House superimposed over a rippling American flag appeared on the commemorative $10 discount card that provides unlimited Metrorail and Metrobus rides throughout the day.

     The sleeve design featured an image of the president
elect provided by the 2017 Presidential Inaugural Committee. It included the inaugural theme “Make America Great Again.” Metro officials decided to print cardboard sleeves, because they were a less expensive alternative to reprinting the discount passes.



Women’s March Draws Crowds

washmarchThe Women’s March on Washington was the second busiest day ever for mass transit in our nation’s capital. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority provided 1,001,616 subway rides on January 21, 2017.

     The march was one of two major back-to-back events in Washington this January. WMATA was busier than for President Trump’s inauguration the day before. As of 11 a.m. on Saturday, about 275,000 trips had been taken on Washington’s mass-transit system, compared to about 193,000 on Inauguration Day, the authority tweeted.

      Washington Post editors called Metro’s response to both events a “feather in its cap.” In their editorial, they reported that “the system coped relatively well — no major service lapses, accidents or injuries, and many instances of helpful service by transit police and other employees.” They also warned that the day’s success is “not necessarily a promise of smooth sailing ahead” and improvements are still needed.    

     Mass transit also drew crowds in many of the more than 670 cities worldwide with similar women’s marches. In California, Regional Transit took more than 5,000 riders for the Sacramento march. That made Saturday one of the largest single-event, non-commute ridership days in the agency’s history. In Los Angeles, riders boarded Metropolitan Transportation Authority trains about 592,000 times — more than twice the typical weekend ridership.

     The Maryland commuter train system MARC saw high numbers of riders buying day passes early Saturday. In response, it added more trains to accommodate the crowds. The system’s Penn Line, from Baltimore to Washington, had a record 27,566 trips. On average the Penn line carries 3,500 rides on Saturday.

(photo from,,,,


‘Til Next Time,

 Jim Wilson, BWAT General Manager


About Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson is General Manager at Blue Water Area Transit
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