DC Council OKs resolution urging return to Metro late-night service

WASHINGTON — In a unanimous decision, the D.C. Council approved an emergency resolution urging Metro’s board to restore late-night hours.

Council member Jack Evans, who is also the chairman of the Metro board, introduced the resolution after months of backlash against the proposal by Metro’s Paul Wiedefeld to permanently cut late-night service in order to give Metro crews more time to do regular maintenance work.

Evans said the resolution is only a sense of the Council and is not binding. But the measure sends a signal “that the District of Columbia wants the late night hours,” he said.

The resolution stresses the need for the return of late-night Metro service, especially for those who work in the hospitality and service industries who depend on the late-night Metro service. The resolutions states that the area is highly dependent on those industries for attracting tourists, new residents and tax revenue. The resolution also says that other big cities such as London are looking at longer and later subway service.

Evans said service industry workers don’t have 9 to 5 jobs, and at the end of a long night they need to a way home.

“Taking Uber or something like that is not an option, it’s too expensive,” he said.

Evans agrees that more maintenance work needs to be done, but he said the time can be carved out from Saturday and Sunday mornings instead.

”You could open later instead of 5 o’clock, (open at) 6 o’clock in the morning. But if you ride at 5 o’clock that won’t be acceptable to you. A lot of people don’t like anything,” he said.

The public can weigh in on four proposed service hour changes during a 9.5-hour public hearing starting at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20 at Metro headquarters.

The service changes are expected to be finalized in December and would take effect by July 2017.

Metro now closes at midnight seven nights a week under a temporary order from Wiedefeld, but previously stayed open until 3 a.m. on weekend nights. Metro’s board must approve any permanent service hour changes.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report. 

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