The recent network disruptions in the Washington Metro system showed the new reality associated with aging transit infrastructure and highlighted the potential severity of such disruptions. However, relevant studies in the literature are limited and agencies need more empirical evidence to help them better planning and implementing maintenance work.
To fill this research gap, this study analyzed both aggregated ridership data of the Washington Metro system collected from the National Transit Database, and the individual travel survey data collected from a National Science Foundation project to provide more empirical evidence on behavioral reactions to transit network disruptions. Particularly, this study highlighted the long-term impact of such disruptions on transit ridership, and the issues related to using stated preference or attitude survey data alone for planning purposes. Findings from this study would help transit agencies to better plan for future maintenance needs.