Metro proposes cutting late-night rail service

WASHINGTON -- Metro is looking to cut hours by July 2017, to make time for regular preventive maintenance.

If the most recent proposal Metro is considering is approved, trains will stop running at 11:30 p.m. weeknights, 1 a.m. on weekends, and 11 p.m. on Sundays.

People who work the late shift, told DCW50 they were worried about not having an affordable way to get home.

Business owners, restaurant and bar managers told DCW50, since SafeTrack began, they had lost key staff members, because trains stop running before bars and restaurants close.

“I’ve lost my best bar-back, he can’t stay because he lives in Gaithersburg and we close at two in the morning.  He was ideally leaving at 3:00 a.m or 3:30 a.m. most nights.  We’ve lost him due to Metro closing at midnight and he lives too far to take Uber or a cab,” explained the manager of a bar on U Street.

Taxi drivers also told DCW50 they were directly affected by train system’s hours.

“The cab drivers are suffering,” one taxi driver said while waiting for a customer at West Hyattsville Metro Station.

He explained, with Metro closing early, you would think more people would rely on taxis to get home, but that is not the case, because it is too expensive for most people to take a $35 cab ride home everyday.

The cab driver went on to say, if hours were cut any more, he would likely quit.

“Most of us are now looking for a second job to be able to make a living, with cab driving alone you can’t make a living anymore.  With cab, sometimes after paying rent, you have nothing,” the independent taxi driver expressed.

Cab drivers, business owners, and people that work late, said they would all be impacted negatively if trains were to stop running at 11 p.m..

However, Metro staff said they need to cut hours in order to keep up with preventive maintenance.

And some riders told DCW50, they appreciate the safety concerns.

“There are two sides to every story, better safe than sorry.  I hate to be on the metro, waiting on the platform and something come crumbling down,” expressed commuter, Rosalynd Stewart.

Metro will make the formal proposal, Thursday.