WASHINGTON – Metro announced on Thursday that the daily deals website LivingSocial will front the money to keep trains running past midnight for Nationals playoff games.
LivingSocial will underwrite up to two hours of Metro service past midnight for all trains originating at Navy Yard-Ballpark station after postseason games in October and November, Metro says.
Then, LivingSocial will get reimbursed for either a portion or all of those costs based on ridership during the additional hours.
“LivingSocial is in the business of creating great local experiences, and we want to be sure D.C. fans can enjoy the city’s first baseball playoffs in 79 years without worrying about how they will get home,” said Tim O’Shaughnessy, CEO of LivingSocial.
There has been an ongoing dispute regarding whether Metro would stay open past midnight on playoff game nights, and if so, who would pay for it. Playoff baseball games regularly don’t start until after 8 p.m. and can last past 12 a.m.
Jack Evans, a D.C. council member, made a guarantee earlier in the week that the transit system would be available and that game-goers need not worry about getting home safely.
“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 said.
At the time, Evans would not say who was going to pay for the added service. It costs about $30,000 per hour to keep the Metro system running past closing.
Major League Baseball was concerned that if the Nats started 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.
For the Madonna concert last week, The Verizon Center paid to keep Metro open late.
WTOP’s Adam Tuss contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)