WASHINGTON — Can you take Metro to Thursday night’s Bruce Springsteen concert at Nationals Park? It’s a question a number of WTOP listeners have asked, and one whose answer partly depends on how much concertgoers are willing to live on the edge.
While the concert is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m., The Boss does not always start on time, and played for nearly four hours in New Jersey last week, all of which would put some riders past the point where they could get home on Metro.
How late are trains running from Navy Yard-Ballpark?
The last northbound train from Navy Yard toward Greenbelt is scheduled to depart at 11:39 p.m., while the last southbound train toward Branch Avenue is scheduled to depart at 12:17 a.m.
There is a catch, though: Metro only promises a connection to the Red Line for riders who take an earlier train from Navy Yard that leaves at 11:17 p.m. That means riders who use Red Line stations would need to be down on the platform before then.
The last northbound train to Greenbelt does allow connections to other lines, but not everyone in the ballpark will be able to fit on the single train.
So what do I do?
To avoid traffic and stadium-area or workday parking fees, one option is to drive to stations on the southern end of the Green Line in the morning on the way in. Parking at Branch Avenue, Suitland, Naylor Road or Southern Avenue could be a realistic option for commuters who typically drive to Orange or Blue Line stations in Maryland and want to be sure to have that extra time at the concert.
The last southbound train leaves more than 30 minutes later than the last train that heads northbound, but again, if everyone has that idea, the crowding could make things difficult.
Red Line riders, especially at the Glenmont end, might similarly consider driving to the Greenbelt end of the Green Line on the way in in the morning to buy some extra time.
For concertgoers up for the cost, there is always the option of taking Metro in and then taking a cab, Uber, Lyft or other similar service home or back to the car after the concert. That could be done from the end of the Green Line as well for riders who miss the last connections.
A more creative option might be to take the Potomac Riverboat Company’s special Springsteen water taxi. The $40 round trip leaves from the Alexandria waterfront.
Why isn’t Metro staying open late?
Earlier this year, as he announced that Metro would close at midnight on weekends, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld also announced there would be no more late closings or early openings of the system for events that did not already have contracts in place at the time.
Wiedefeld says the ban on early openings and late closings ensures that maintenance crews have more time on the tracks.
The new policy is having an impact on a number of events, including significant changes for the Marine Corps Marathon.
I’m disappointed I don’t have tickets
As of Tuesday morning, there were still concert tickets available at face value, as well as tickets available on resale sites.