The New York Avenue Metro station is attracting riders faster than any of the other 85 rail stations in the Metro system, according to the transit agency.
The Red Line station, anchoring the northeast corner of the NoMa neighborhood that straddles North Capitol Street, showed an 18.6 percent increase in the number of riders from July to January compared with the same period a year earlier. An average of 7,461 riders boarded at New York Avenue on weekdays as of June, according to a separate Metro ridership report.
|The 10 stations with fastest-growing ridership|
|New York Avenue||18.6%|
|East Falls Church||11.2%|
|Mt. Vernon Sq-UDC||6.7%|
Fast-growing Clarendon in Arlington County came in second with 14.4 percent growth, according to Metro. East Falls Church, West Hyattsville and the Waterfront are also growing neighborhoods, attracting a surge of new residents and landing in the top 10 of fastest-growing stations. The Medical Center station in Bethesda saw a boom of its own, spurred by the massive shift of military jobs under the Defense Department's Base Realignment and Closure plan.
The list of fast-growing stations serve as a proxy for where development is growing around the region.
Metro itself, which has an average of more than 700,000 boardings every weekday, is clearly part of the draw. The agency's stations have spurred development around the region for years, attracting businesses, builders and residents who want easy connections.
However, Metro noted in written testimony to the D.C. Council that some of the numbers may be a bit artificially inflated because of weekend track shutdowns, which cause large numbers of riders to board or exit at different stops when their usual stations are closed.
Some of the increases are a question of age. The New York Avenue station only opened in late 2004, so it's easier to see big percentage gains in the beginning. Morgan Boulevard, another station with fast-growing ridership and located a mile from FedEx Field, also opened in 2004.
Robin-Eve Jasper, the president of the NoMa Business Improvement District, wasn't surprised to see the New York Avenue stop show such a surge. She said the neighborhood around it has been exploding, with new residential units, offices and retail.
Metro is a huge contributor to the growth, Jasper said, but not the only cause of it. The proximity of Union Station, the flood of federal workers heading to jobs at the Department of Justice and the Securities Exchange Commission, plus the overall resurgence of the District have helped.
"It's a snowball effect," Jasper said. "Now we're seeing the pace of change accelerate."
The growth has been so extensive, the Metro station itself has being swept up with the tide. In November, Metro's board opted to change the name of the station to NoMa-Gallaudet U when it redoes its maps this summer. The New York Avenue moniker will stick around for another year as a secondary name while riders adjust to the change.