Metro extends service 1 hour to accommodate Nationals fans, Wharf DC crowds

D.C.'s Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the city's transit system would remain open an extra hour Thursday night to accommodate fans attending two major events in the District.

Bowser and Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld said that the rail system would remain open past midnight for commuters who planned to take the train home from the Washington Nationals playoff game and from the grand opening of The DC Wharf.

The cost of the service extension is $100,000 and is being funded by Exelon, the parent company of Pepco.

"Tonight, Washington, D.C. will host the Nationals' NLDS championship game and the exciting opening of The Wharf," said Bowser in a written statement released Thursday afternoon. "We want everyone attending these events to enjoy their experience and have a safe ride home at the end of the night. Go Nats and enjoy The Wharf!"

"Our commitment to the D.C. community extends beyond powering our customers' homes and businesses," said Exelon Senior Vice President, Maggie FitzPatrick, in a written statement. "We want to make sure they can enjoy these landmark events in D.C. and have options for getting home safely and efficiently, and we are pleased to partner with Mayor Bowser to make this happen."

After Metro's regular closing time, four of the transit system's stations at the Navy Yard-Ballpark, Waterfront, L'Enfant Plaza, and Capitol South, will continue to operate for "entry only." All of the other Metro stations will be available for "exit only."

The last Green Line train will now depart the Navy Yard-Ballpark Station in the direction of Greenbelt at 12:22 a.m. The last Green Line train that travels to Branch Avenue will depart the Navy Yard-Ballpark Station at 12:48 a.m.

Earlier in the day before the announcement to extend service was made, WAMU transportation reporter and FOX 5 contributor, Martin Di Caro, reported that trains could stop running before the final out.

Much uncertainty hung in the air as neither Metro nor the Washington Nationals made any announcements regarding a plan to extend hours. Many commuters who planned to take in the game or the waterfront festivities were unclear on how they would return home after those events ended.

The service extension will hopefully mean there will not be a repeat of last October's fan angst. In the seventh inning of the Nationals' heartbreaking loss to the Dodgers, the team posted the last train departure times on the video screen above the stands in center field. Fans loudly booed and chanted "Metro sucks."

Prior to Thursday's announcement, the transit authority had reached out to the Nationals multiple times about running trains past 11:30 p.m., to no avail. In June, Metro changed its hours of operation but approved a policy allowing "up to 10 events of extended system hours (e.g. early openings or late closings) over the next year as we stand up the new [overnight] maintenance program," according to a WMATA memo.

Even with the extended hours, late night commuters who try to squeeze onto the final trains Thursday will probably find them very crowded.

In past years, private entities offered to pay to extend Metro hours for late-night baseball. Living Social did so in 2012, and American University offered in 2014.


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