Metro-riding Nats fans stranded after 13-inning game

Neal Augenstein,

WASHINGTON – A dramatic 13-inning win for the Washington Nationals over the Atlanta Braves provided a happy ending for fans who witnessed the four-hour, 27-minute marathon.

The postscript soured the moment, for a few dozen fans who didn’t realize Metro had stopped running at midnight.

Several disgruntled fans spoke to ABC7 after the game.

“Where’s my train?” moaned Len Wines, outside the Navy Yard Metro station.

“I come out and everything’s closed. This is beyond ridiculous,” Wines said.

The Nationals and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority don’t have an agreement in place to ensure trains will be running in the rare event a game runs past midnight.

Some fans realized their ride home was leaving, but didn’t want to miss the end of the game.

“It came up on the screen at the ballgame that the line was closing, but we thought we’d still have enough time, but then it went into extra innings,” said Geraldine Forsyth.

“They told us they weren’t going to take us home and we didn’t care because we wanted to watch the game,” said a fan who called himself Rob. “Then we got out here and there’s no Metro, so we’re all stuck.”

Alex Schloe had parked his car at Clarendon Metro, and had no idea how he’d get home to Front Royal.

“I just figured since there was a game with thousands of people it would still be open, instead of people being stranded here,” he told ABC 7.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel says it costs $29,500 per hour to extend Metrorail service.

The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg has reported a contract, with a $29,500 deposit, needs to be signed ahead of time to keep Metro open an extra hour.

The inability to predict when any particular game might go into extra innnings makes utilizing that contingency difficult, if not impossible.

Stranded fan Harry Shin thought Metro should contact cab or bus companies, to provide alternative ways to get home.

“Don’t leave us stranded in the street,” Shin chided.

“After this fantastic win in 13 innings, we’re a number one team, in the number one country in the world. What’s the story, Metro? Let’s get on the bandwagon. Get on the same page,” Shin said.

Requests for comment from the Nationals on whether they intend to revisit their policy and practice surrounding paying to extend Metro service were not immediately returned.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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