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.
Metrorail will close at 11:30 p.m. weeknights, 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights and only run from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays starting in July 2017.
The Metro Board will vote Thursday on a plan recommended by the agency’s general manager, Paul Wiedefeld, to cut back service hours every day of the week. Opponents of the plan say the cuts are arbitrary and would hurt low-income and minority riders.
A Metro Board committee will take the first official vote Thursday on plans to cut back Metro hours every day of the week.
Metro riders challenged plans to cut back service hours at a long, stop-and-go, nine-and-a-half-hour public hearing Thursday.
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