In a bid to win back riders who have fled the system in droves, Metro plans to add some rail service this summer without raising fares and does not plan any significant service cuts. However, the capital budget improved by the Metro Board Thursday does not make any changes to Metro’s late-night service, which was reduced a few years ago
Metro will keep its current hours for at least one more year after the District’s board members split on an effort to block the change.
Metro staff cite the reduced hours as an important reason they have been able to start doing preventive maintenance work that was either never done or ignored for years.
Metro expects to lose about $23 million in ridership and other revenue in the next budget year, because riders have turned away during shutdowns and single tracking around major construction projects. Meanwhile, a showdown over service hours is brewing.
Transportation leaders in Montgomery County said they would potentially be willing to support keeping Metro open one hour later on weekends.
Metro moved closer Thursday to keeping its current hours for at least another year, even as the District threatened to block the plans in two weeks over concerns that the reduced service could remain indefinitely.
Metrorail riders may see targeted fare increases at certain times next year, but will not face across-the-board fare hikes, a series of votes Thursday by the Metro Board assured.
The D.C. Metro will close at 2 a.m. again this year New Year’s Eve to ring in 2019. That is 2.5 hours later than the current Monday night into Tuesday morning schedule.
“It’s something we would love to offer more of, but right now, since we are using that time for preventive maintenance and to catch up, I would not suggest that we move away from that right now,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said.
Metro will stay open late Thursday night for the tens of thousands of Washington Capitals fans planning to flood Capital One Arena and the surrounding area downtown to watch the team try to clinch the Stanley Cup.
The Metro Board is expected to formally support keeping cuts in hours through June 2019 at its Thursday meeting after they were implemented last year.
Thanks to a deal between the government of Qatar and the Downtown DC Business Improvement District, Metro will remain open an extra hour Thursday night to accommodate Capitals fans leaving Capital One Arena.
Metro now plans to close at midnight on the Fourth of July, staying open an extra 30 minutes to accommodate the expected crowds attending the fireworks and concert on the National Mall.
Metro will stay open late or open early for a limited number of special events such as playoff games or marathons over the next year – as long as event organizers are willing to put more money down up front than they have in the past.
Metro’s fare increases and service cuts will start June 25, the transit agency announced Friday.
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