July 4 Metrorail Ridership Up 1.7% as Trump Revamped Celebration

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(Bloomberg) -- Ridership on Washington’s Metrorail system was up 1.7% on Thursday compared with Independence Day last year, the first indication of turnout for President Donald Trump’s revamped July 4 celebration.

The rail system said in a tweet that 400,966 people rode on Thursday.

Trump delivered a 4th of July speech on the National Mall that extolled the U.S. military and American people and put himself at the center of the Independence Day celebration. The event featured flyovers by military jets, and tanks were on display.

July 4 Metrorail Ridership Up 1.7% as Trump Revamped Celebration

Trump revamped the traditional celebration, which doesn’t usually feature a president delivering a speech on the Mall or the display of military might. The fireworks, which took place after the speech, generally last about 15 minutes but this year went on for about 35 minutes after a donation by two pyrotechnic companies valued at $750,000.

Government officials provided no crowd estimates. Trump tweeted a photo showing of spectators on the Mall, saying: “A great crowd of tremendous Patriots this evening, all the way back to the Washington Monument!” At the start of his presidency, Trump took issue with media reports citing photos showing fewer people attended his inauguration than those of his predecessors.

On Friday, Trump told reporters at the White House that the July 4 event would lead to a surge in military enlistments.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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