Evans guarantees Nationals fans will have ride home

Can Strasburg take the Metro home? Councilmember Jack Evans says, \'\'Yes.\'\' (AP)

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Baseball fans who take Metro to playoff games in D.C. shouldn’t worry about how they will get home, a D.C. Councilmember says. Subway service will be available.

D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans, D-Ward 2, made that guarantee on Tuesday. He says he is intricately involved in the debate about who should pay to keep Metro running past normal closing hours.

“Here’s what I can assure you, the Metro system will stay open as late as we need it to get everyone home. That I can assure you,” Evans tells WTOP.

There is no doubt in his mind that Metro will be running after the end of any Nationals playoff game, he says.

When asked why he was so confident about the extended service, Evans said “because I am making it happen.”

For weeks, there has been an ongoing debate over who should pay to keep Metro running past its normal weekday closing time at midnight, should any playoff baseball game go past that time. Playoff baseball games regularly don’t start until after 8 p.m. and can last past 12 a.m.

“It’s likely we are going to need (the extra service), because first pitch isn’t really until 8:20 p.m.,” says Evans.

Evans would not say who is going to pay for the added service. It costs about $30,000 per hour to keep the Metro system running past closing.

As WTOP has reported, Major League Baseball is concerned that if the Nats start consistently paying to keep the Metro system running past normal hours, then all other baseball teams will have to do the same.

The Capitals and the Redskins have agreements in place with the transit agency to stay open late. The Nationals do not.

A senior Nationals source and a source with direct knowledge of the situation confirms the MLB is worried about a precedent being set around the league.

WTOP contacted a number of transit agencies around the country and could not find an instance where a baseball team consistently pays to keep public transportation running beyond closing hours.

“No other MLB team has had to pay for service. We’ve never had to face this issue,” MLB spokesperson Matt Bourne tells WTOP. “The Nationals are seeking solutions with the Metro.”

He says MLB leaders will be monitoring the situation. Follow Adam Tuss and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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