Activists, elected leaders protest late-night weekend cuts on Metro

WASHINGTON — A small group of elected leaders and activists boarded a Red Line train Friday night in protest. Their objective? Make it known that Metro riders need late-night service on the weekends.

Metro recently announced plans to permanently cut back late-night weekend rail service to allow extra time for track maintenance and inspections, but this plan has drawn opposition from some riders and elected leaders.

Montgomery County Councilman Hans Riemer was among those aboard the train asking Metro to reconsider its plan.

While Riemer said he thinks ride-sharing services could pick up some of the slack on late weekend nights, he found his Friday night train to be crowded, suggesting the need for continued service.

Instead of reducing weekend service to give track workers more maintenance time, Riemer said, Metro should explore other options, including the possibility of temporary spot closures.

“I would like to see the [Metro] board review a plan for targeted shutdowns,” he said.

Riemer said he is most worried about late-night workers traveling by Metrorail.

“It’s hospital workers, it’s restaurant workers — it’s folks that don’t really have good alternatives,” Riemer said.

“What a huge impact it can have on their lives if suddenly they don’t have a way to get home.”

The Metro board is expected to hold public hearings on the matter this fall.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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