Late-night Metro service likely to return, DC councilmember says

- After years of a shortened schedule, late-night Metro rail service could be making a make a comeback.

Currently, Metro closes at 11:30 p.m. during weekdays and at midnight on weekends. However, after a Metro board vote on Thursday, Metro’s hours could be expanded next summer – with Metro closing midnight during the week and 3 a.m. on weekends.

Metro's proposal to keep the current schedule will likely fail, according to D.C. Councilmember and Metro board chair Jack Evans.

He says at Thursday's Metro board meeting, he and fellow D.C. member Corbett Price will vote against a proposed one-year extension of the current limited nighttime hours.

“If one jurisdiction, both members vote no, it fails regardless of how many vote yes,” said Evans. “So it will then not pass and we will revert on July 1 to the old late hours.”

That means the previous late-night Metro service schedule will likely come back, which riders say they welcome.

“I think it would be a good choice for someone who rides it at night to do sports leagues or hang out with some friends,” said Allie Wood. “Just to have more time options.”

For the last three years, many who come into the District at night say rideshares and taxis have been adding up in the wallet.

“If there is a big concert in the city, that can be a huge surge and sometimes it’s even like $50 for me to get home while as the Metro is probably like $4,” said Chazmen McCarter. “So that is a huge difference.”

But extending the hours will not come without a cost. Evans says a return to the old late-night schedule could mean longer shutdowns for track work throughout the transit system.

A Metro spokesman says the current hours were necessary for maintenance that improved the safety and reliability of the system. In a statement, Metro said, "As we will explain in detail on Thursday, the plan is working and now is not the time to change course."

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser supports the idea of bringing back Metro's old late-night service hours.

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