People Are Noticing Washington DC's Subways Are Unusually Empty On Trump's Inauguration Day

People are now sharing photos of packed Metro cars from 2013 and 2009 for comparison.

Local commuters and visitors to Washington, DC, on Donald Trump's Inauguration Day are taking notice of how surprisingly barren the Metro is.

Deserted metro on #Inauguration morning. This is not what it looked like in 2008 & 2012.

Hardly a stampede to the Inauguration. Inside the Red Line at Adams Morgan en route to The Mall.

This comes a day after aerial shots of Thursday's inauguration concert showed the crowd barely filled the National Mall — a stark contrast to Obama's inauguration in 2009.

All Metro trains we have seen this AM are empty/not crowded. Not seeing huge crowds of people outside either.…

Trump took the podium last night and thanked the crowd for showing up in the "thousands and thousands."

"It went all the way to the back," he said. "They never had so many people. And very few people ever had a concert at the Lincoln Memorial.”

Residents who have lived through several presidential inaugurations are commenting on how unusual it is for the Metro to be this vacant on the big day.

DC Metro is oddly empty this morning.

In case anyone thinks I'm exaggerating, here's a wider shot of my Metro train. Live at 5:15pm in DC

It’s Inauguration Day! Why’s Metro so empty?

They said it was especially apparent following the 2009 and 2013 inaugurations, where DC subways suffered massive delays, strains, and closures several hours ahead of the actual event. People are now sharing photos they took four and eight years ago in the subways when they attended Obama's swearing-in.

.@evanhalper I took this photo on the Metro around this time in 2009...

@AliceOllstein This was L'Enfant Plaza stop on inauguration day '09. They had to keep the train in the station b/c…

@AliceOllstein @stevekovach 8:18am Jan 20, 2009 jam packed

"This was the subway during Obama's inauguration. The opposite of empty," someone responded.

@AliceOllstein This was the subway during Obama's inauguration.The opposite of empty. #Inauguration

@AliceOllstein this was us at the Springfield station waiting for the first train the leave 2009

This video, taken by BuzzFeed News' Shani Hilton, shows the L'Enfant Plaza station on Jan. 21, 2009.

The official account for WMATA (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority) tweeted this morning with a breakdown of commuter statistics, and comparing them hour-to-hour to inaugurations of previous presidential cycles.

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

The Metro later tweeted a correction, saying the statistics were from Jan. 21, 2013, or that year's Inauguration Day, not Jan. 20, 2013.


Obama was first elected president in 2008, but his inauguration was in 2009. An earlier version of this post misstated the year of his inauguration.

Skip to footer