WASHINGTON -- During Metro’s Safetrack plans, the trains stop running every night at midnight. Metro’s General Manager, Paul J. Wiedefeld, not only wants to keep that schedule once Safetrack is over, but also wants to permanently close stations at 10p.m. on Sundays.
“They look at the ridership between 10p.m. and midnight on Sundays, it is very low, overall,” explained Jack Evens, from Metro’s board.
DCW50 looked at the data that has been collected. While ridership numbers show fewer people ride the trains Sunday nights, still more that 2,000 people rely on metro between the hours of 12a.m. and 3a.m.
“My store doesn’t close until 12 in the morning, so if don’t leave until like 1a.m. and buses stop running at 12:30a.m. so it is going to be hard for people who work my shift to get home from work,” said Charlene Johnson as she got on the green line to head to work.
Of course Uber and taxis are options, but for long distance rides, Metro tends to be more affordable.
“The train is much cheaper. From here to Congress Heights is only about $3 dollars, but if I catch Uber that’s about $25 dollars,” expressed metro rider, Kayla Russell.
Riders are not the only ones concerned about this possible permanent schedule change.
The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington released a statement saying, in part, “We’ve heard from member restaurants that sales are down 20 percent due to early metro closures…that cannot be ignored.”
And Joseph Thompson runs Ben’s Next Door on U street, he said he has already taken a hit, and fears it could get worse.
“I’ve lost my best bar back who lives out in Germantown, Maryland so he can’t stay late now that Metro closes early. We close at 2a.m., it takes about an hour to clean everything up so he was s ideally leaving around 3a.m. We’ve lost him due to the metro closing early on weekends,” explained Thompson.
Metro said if it chooses to move forward with the permanent plan it would allow crews to do routine track work and avoid any major problems in the future.