WMATA, MWAA celebrate 1 million customers at Washington Dulles International Airport Silver Line Metrorail Station

Oct. 5, 2023
Total ridership passing through WMATA’s six new Silver Line stations is now more than three million.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) celebrated topping 1 million customers at the Washington Dulles International Airport Silver Line Metrorail Station since opening in November.

During a celebration event at the station, Metro and MWAA surprised a lucky traveler as the ceremonial one-millionth customer to go through the Dulles Airport Station. Ivy Cheng arrived at the station greeted with cheers, Silver Line memorabilia and gifts provided by WMATA, Dulles International Airport and United Airlines.

“What an exciting time for WMATA and the Airports Authority to see the success of the Silver Line come to life,” said WMATA General Manager and CEO Randy Clarke. “This is the first of millions more who will take WMATA to and from Dulles International Airport providing connectivity for people across the region and travelers around the world.”

Cheng and her traveling companion, Chao Pan, returned on an international flight from Japan. After using the high-speed rail on their travels, they were excited to take the Silver Line back home from the airport.

Total ridership passing through WMATA’s six new Silver Line stations is now more than 3 million, with the Dulles Airport Station accounting for about a third of those customers who #RideSilver. On any given weekday, nearly 5,000 customers pass through the station and more than 4,000 a day on average during the weekend.

“Today’s celebration is a testament to the success of the Dulles Airport Station, which is the most popular station on the Silver Line extension,” said Jack Potter, president and CEO of the Airports Authority. “As we surpass the milestone of 1 million customers, we are grateful for the benefits of Silver Line service for airport customers, employees and airline business development opportunities, as well as all the transportation, business and environmental benefits it brings to our region.”

Silver Line has also given workers and travelers an easier, more affordable and sustainable way to get to and from the airport which serves more than 23 million airline passengers annually. Without WMATA, the authority says about 70 percent of customers surveyed would have driven to the airport, taking those cars off the road and helping to reduce carbon emissions.

"The Silver Line extension has provided new opportunities for Dulles Airport, Loudoun County and residents from around the region," said WMATA Board Member and Loudoun County Supervisor Matt Letourneau. "I am excited that more than 1 million riders have taken advantage of our service to Dulles in less than a year and I know that the Silver Line will continue to attract more customers as transit-oriented development continues in Loudoun and Fairfax counties."

With its multiple route launches in 2023, Dulles International became the fastest-growing U.S. airport for international flight activity. In response to higher travel demand and the convenience of Metrorail service, customers can fly to more than 130 nonstop destinations from Dulles, including Berlin, Vancouver, Rome, London, Calgary, Cape Town and Barbados.

“United Airlines is thrilled to celebrate this milestone and we look forward to welcoming the next millions of Metro riders as they embark on their travels at Dulles Airport,” said Henry Bird, United’s managing director of airport operations at Dulles International Airport. “The Dulles Airport Silver Line station opening brought lots of anticipation and it has certainly lived up to that excitement by providing increased accessibility and convenience for our growing number of passengers and employees across the region.”

Currently, WMATA provides service to 98 stations connecting Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The strong ridership at the Dulles Airport Station is also reflective of WMATA ridership gains, which continue to set pandemic-era records.

The Silver Line to Ashburn, which serves the airport, will celebrate one year of service on Nov. 15.