WASHINGTON — Metro will stay open until 3 a.m. for New Year’s revelers.
“The additional three hours of service — consistent with past years — is a special exception to a moratorium on extended hours,” the transit agency said in a statement.
Some type of exception was expected, given other plans for region-wide events such as July 4 and Inauguration Day.
General Manager Paul Wiedefeld announced this spring that the transit system would close at midnight every day for 12 months beginning in June. The Metro Board is scheduled to vote next week on more drastic hours cuts that would begin July 2017.
Wiedefeld argues the additional time would allow for more maintenance and inspections. Opponents of the broader cuts point out that some of the proposed changes, such as 11:30 p.m. closings on weeknights, do not actually provide significant additional time on the tracks.
In addition to New Year’s Eve service, Metro announced Thursday that on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the federal Christmas holiday on Monday, Dec. 26, the system will run on a weekend schedule with off-peak fares and free parking. On Dec. 26, that includes train service starting at 7 a.m. like a weekend rather than 5 a.m. like a typical weekday.
The same weekend schedule, with a 7 a.m. opening, off-peak schedules and fares and free parking at Metro garages will be in place on Monday, Jan. 2, the official federal observance of New Year’s Day.
As previously announced, Metro said trains are scheduled to run on Inauguration Day beginning at 4 a.m. with extra trains on all lines until 9 p.m. The system is scheduled to close at midnight on Inauguration Day.