81% of Bus & Train Travelers to D.C. This Week are Women

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Bus and train ticket sales are up 1,450% compared to the same time last year.


Update: An earlier version of this report said that the year over year increase in bus and train tickets to D.C. booked through Wanderu within the period of January 19-21 was 912%. As of January 20, 2017, the increase has risen to 1,450%.

With the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump on January 20 and the Women’s March on Washington taking place the following day, hundreds of thousands of people are expected to travel to Washington, D.C. over the upcoming days. In fact, bus travel has been in the news lately as the preferred method of transportation for participants in the march, fueling a surge in booking of bus trips to the nation’s capital. To get a good grasp of where these travelers are coming from, which event the majority of them are planning to attend, and how this week’s events have affected the travel trends to D.C. compared to the same time last year, we dug into Wanderu’s data and made some fascinating discoveries.

The information below is based on data available through Wanderu’s reservation system and represents bus and train tickets that were booked for travel to Washington, D.C. from anywhere in the U.S. in the period of January 19-21, 2017 compared to tickets booked for the period of January 19-21, 2016. Some of the info below draws comparison to historical data which is based on all-time data for routes to Washington, D.C. available in the Wanderu system since the launch of the service in August 2013.

Trips to DC: 2016 vs. 2017

For the period of January 19-21, we have a massive 1,450% increase year over year. While a significant growth is to be expected given the magnitude of the upcoming events, a surge of this magnitude is unprecedented as the only other time we’ve seen a similar, yet not as prominent, rise in ticket bookings over the past year was during Thanksgiving week.

Average ticket cost: 2016 vs. 2017

Avg. Price on Jan 19-21, 2016 Avg. Price on Jan 19-21, 2017
$28.00 $65.91
132% increase year over year.

The majority of ground travel carriers rely on dynamic pricing for their tickets that is adjusted according to demand. As a result, when the demand is higher, tickets tend to become more expensive. On average, bus and train tickets to Washington, D.C. for the period of January 19-21 cost around $28. Because of the increased demand, though, tickets currently go for about $66.

Who is traveling?

Historically

Male Female
49.93% 50.07%

Jan 19-21, 2017

Male Female
18.65% 81.35%

As detailed in the graph above, trips to Washington, D.C. are usually frequented by pretty much an equal number of male and female travelers. For this year’s period of January 19-21, though, more than 81% of travelers are women, confirming the high attendance rates expected for the upcoming Women’s March.

Where are travelers coming from?

These are the top 10 origin locations from where people are traveling to Washington, D.C. by bus or train for the period of January 19-21, 2017:

  1. New York, NY
  2. Baltimore, MD
  3. Boston, MA
  4. Philadelphia, PA
  5. Richmond, VA
  6. Newark, NJ
  7. Fredericksburg, VA
  8. Pittsburgh, PA
  9. New Haven, CT
  10. Durham, NC

The map below represents all the origin locations from where people are traveling to Washington, D.C. by bus or train on January 19-21, 2017:

When did travelers book their tickets?

Historically Jan 19-21, 2017
7 days in advance (on average) 23 days in advance (on average)

 

As bus and train travelers usually prefer to book their trips closer to their travel date, on average, people purchase their tickets to D.C. only seven days in advance. This year, however, for the period of January 19-21, 2017, people have been booking their trips a hefty 23 days in advance.

Traveling with company or alone?

Trips booked for 2+ travelers:

Historically Jan 19-21, 2017
22.86% 37.10%

While trip reservations for more than one person usually represent less than a quarter of all bus and train trips to Washington, D.C. booked through Wanderu, this week fueled a surge on those as well making for more than a third of all bookings.

Both the inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington are events poised to attract huge numbers of attendees. As seen above, they have strongly affected the bus and train travel trends to Washington, D.C., bringing a record number of visitors to the nation’s capital. 

In case you want to attend but haven’t made any travel plans yet, there still plenty of bus & train tickets to Washington, D.C. available on www.wanderu.com.

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About the author
Staffo Dobrev

Staffo Dobrev

Having lived in some of the greatest cities in the world, Staffo has always had a soft spot for travel and adventures. Instead of hitting the usual tourist attractions, though, Staffo prefers to make friends with local people and check out fun places and activities that are not in the travel books.
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