Despite upticks over the summer months, passenger counts for Virginia Railway Express (VRE) remain well down from pre-pandemic levels.
For the weeks ending July 30, Aug. 6, Aug. 13 and Aug. 20, passenger counts were down 85.7 percent, 85.8 percent, 85.8 percent and 86.5 percent from the same periods in 2019, according to information provided by VRE officials to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission.
One example: For the week of Aug. 20, average daily ridership stood at 2,540, compared to 18,802 during the same week of 2019 before the COVID crisis hit.
That said, passenger counts are increasing. June’s monthly total of 49,437 and July’s 54,379 were the highest by far since the onset of the pandemic.
Ridership is likely to increase with additional workers being expected back in the office, although current upticks in COVID cases may have put many of those plans on hold.
VRE currently provides weekday morning service from the outer suburbs to Alexandria, Arlington and the District of Columbia, reversing the process in the afternoons. But the agency aims to expand service, adding off-peak-direction travel as well as weekend service, in coming years.