Metro unveils plans to partially subsidize on-demand transportation for late night workers

Too late to catch the train? Metro just might pay for your Uber.

The agency announced a request for proposals Wednesday, officially unveiling plans to partially subsidize on-demand trips -- like those with Uber, Lyft, or taxis -- for late night workers.

The pilot program would last for one year and cost up to $1 million, according to a Metro release. The on-demand service would be offered seven days a week for trips within Metro's service area between midnight and 4 a.m., with the agency paying the first $3 of a worker's fare, up to a maximum of 10 trips per week per registered rider, Metro said.

The announcement comes after many D.C. officials and riders demanded a return to late night Metrorail service but didn't get it.

"The system is safer and more reliable today as a result of the robust preventative maintenance work we are doing during those critical overnight hours," Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld said in the release.

Others, however, feel differently.

"Frankly it's insulting," UNITE HERE! Local 25 Strategic Research and Communications Officer Benjy Cannon said of the plan. His union represents more than 7,500 hospitality workers throughout the region, many of whom work around the clock.

"To hear that instead of extending hours we're going to be looking at privatizing part of our public transportation infrastructure, it's just awful for the workers of Washington D.C.," Cannon said.

Metro said responses from prospective vendors are due April 10, and the program could begin as soon as this summer.