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Last week, Metro announced that train ridership had declined below its expectations, but wouldn’t get into details.  Now the Examiner reports just where those declines are coming from.

Weekday Metro use fell 2.5 percent year-to-year in the first quarter of 2012, but that’s nothing compared to weekend Metro use, which dropped 6.4 percent on Saturdays and 5.7 percent on Sundays.

Most drastic, though, has to be the nearly 9 percent drop in midnight to 3 a.m. travel on the system. Given the plan-ruining delays on weekend Metro, where a 10 minute wait looks like outrageous good fortune, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

It’s easy to see this creating a cycle that ultimately kills late-night service, in which Metro increases track work and reduces trains because of the drop in late-night riders, which turns more people off from taking the train. Then Metro management could finally get its wish to eliminate late-night service entirely.

Photo by leehobbins used under a Creative Commons license.