Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Metro Wrapped! WMATA Releases Personalized ‘Your 2023 Metro Report’

JULIA GIGANTE FOR THE HOYA | GradGov drafted a proposal to request a subsidized metro pass system for full-time graduate students.

In the spirit of the annual year-end Spotify Wrapped release, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) riders can now view their “Your 2023 Metro Report,” a colorful personalized summary of their transportation statistics over the past year.

The new report showcases to customers their number of bus and rail trips taken, stations visited, most traveled bus route, bus and rail miles, carbon dioxide emissions saved when compared to driving and their ranking compared to the activity of other WMATA passengers, which has steadily increased in the post-pandemic era. 

This marks the first time WMATA has created a version specifically meant for social media. Previously, WMATA users who wanted to access their metrics had to go through the “User History” or “MyTripTime Dashboard” tabs on the WMATA website, which offered similar data without a user-friendly interface.

Jordan Pascale, media relations manager for WMATA, said Spotify or Metro users’ ability to engage with a shareable summary of their activity over the year is more compelling compared to merely accessing the raw statistics on the website.

“The thing that’s really nice about Spotify Wrapped is it’s very shareable. It’s very flashy,” Pascale told The Hoya. “You know how people can rank or see how they’re ranked among Taylor Swift fans? I think people kind of get excited about data in a way that maybe you wouldn’t before.”

Halle Trang (GRD ’24) said she was surprised by how many stations she visited, exemplifying WMATA’s goal of challenging riders’ perceptions of their habits through Metro Wrapped. 

“I didn’t know what to think of my Metro Wrapped because I initially thought it was a joke. It wasn’t until I saw that they had categories like most stations visited and most used bus route that I thought it would be interesting to see,” Trang wrote. “I’m proud of how many rail and bus trips I’ve taken!”

Pascale said Randy Clarke, chief executive officer of WMATA, prioritizes engaging with WMATA’s customers in new and creative ways in order to drive ridership, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and in the face of budget shortfalls

“Our leadership was super excited about it. Randy Clarke is a big rider himself,” Pascale said. “He wants people to see the value of Metro, and especially with the budget situation and ridership down from the pandemic, he saw it as a good tool to get people excited about riding and understanding that, ‘Oh wow! I took the Metro way more than I thought this year.” 

Clarke showed off the 534 rail trips and 77 bus trips he took in 2023 in a post on X and encouraged others to post their reports. 

“Just over 600 total trips to land in top 1%! So happy to see everyone posting their status showing how #wmata saves them time, money & helps. I’m going to up my game in 2024. Let me know your total, definitely need a prize for top trips taken!” Clarke wrote.

Despite obstacles such as missing fare revenue projections and budget gaps, Metro service usage is currently on the rise. Washington D.C. transit ridership increased by 67% in 2023. 

Many D.C.-Maryland-Virginia-area university students also utilize this transportation network. Especially as university Metro credit programs, such as George Washington University’s U Pass Student Transit program, which subsidizes students’ extra Metro costs for $1 a day during the semester, and Georgetown University’s Hoya Transit program, which grants a $100 WMATA transit credit to 3,200 randomly-selected students for each semester of the 2023-2024 school year. 

In the spirit of the recent Spotify Wrapped release, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) riders can now view their “Your 2023 Metro Report,” a colorful personalized summary of their transportation statistics over the past year. // Photo from Your 2023 Metro Report

Trang, a recipient of the Hoya Transit program, said the credit helps to alleviate transportation costs and encourages her to venture more frequently beyond the “Georgetown Bubble,” a phenomenon in which many Georgetown students report they do not leave campus often due to inconvenience. 

“I don’t have a car, so I rely on the Metro and bus to run errands, explore the city, or meet up with friends,” Trang wrote to The Hoya. “Having the $100 credit definitely made me want to venture out of my neighborhood more,” Trang added. “Since the Metro and bus are my main modes of transportation, I would have had to pay for the rides myself anyway, but it helped knowing I had the funds for my trips.”

The Metro Report’s popularity has boomed on social media among both riders and other regions’ transit agencies, which Pascale said WMATA is optimistic about.

“The coolest thing that we saw out of it was that people were really excited about transit. I saw people shouting out their particular bus driver or their route that they really love. There’s a lot of pride and ownership about people that were really ranked high,” Pascale said. 

Pascale said excitement about WMATA’s Metro Report could influence other transit agencies to create similar systems across the country, contributing to the overall online “Wrapped” trend. 

“I saw a lot of people, not people that lived in DC, but people from Chicago tagging CTA or people in New York tagging MTA saying, ‘I want this for my transit system,’” Pascale said. “I’m sure each transit agency probably has some sort of stat-driven thing, but I think the shareability and the excitement level was really high, and people want to see that in other places, too.” 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hoya

Your donation will support the student journalists of Georgetown University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hoya

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *