LivingSocial may break even footing Metro bill

Adam Tuss,

WASHINGTON – LivingSocial may not have to put down a dime for late-night Metro service to be provided after the Nats playoff games.

The D.C.-based daily deals company certainly generated plenty of goodwill by agreeing to pay the $29,500 per hour cost to keep Metro trains running past closing if need be in the playoffs. But it turns out, making that promise may cost nothing at all.

The way extended Metro service works is, the revenue earned during the extra hour from fares goes back toward the original $29,500 deposit. In other words, if enough people ride during the extra hour, the difference could be made up entirely.

Just this week, the Verizon Center put down the nearly $30,000 deposit to keep trains running late after the Madonna concerts on Sunday and Monday nights.

Metro tweeted after Sunday night’s show, “5,229 customers rode late-night service following Madonna concert last night. As a result Verizon Center’s actual cost = $1,472”.

By that math, it will take about 5,500 riders for Living Social to break even on the cost of one hour of late night service.

Now compare that to the number of riders who entered the Navy Yard Station near the ballpark after recent games. According to Metro, the total entries at Navy Yard following games are:

  • Thurs. 9/20 – 9,903
  • Fri. 9/21 – 9,666
  • Sat. 9/22 – 10,627
  • Sun. 9/23 – 8,692

Now, those numbers do not take into account a late night service effect, because extra service was not needed for those games. But the playoffs are a different scenario, as sell-out crowds could stay until the very last pitch.

The number also doesn’t factor in customer entries at other Metro stations.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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