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Why Metro stayed open late for Caps fans

Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho (20), of Finland, celebrates his goal during the second period of Game 7 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series next to Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19), of Sweden, Wednesday, April 24, 2019, in Washington. The Hurricanes won 4-3 in double overtime. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Metro extended service to get Capitals fans home from a disappointing Game 7 Wednesday night, even though no outside group paid for extended service. Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans said it was simply the right thing to do.

“We really need to accommodate our customers, and Metro did. So, yes, it has to be paid for, absolutely, but we’ll find a way of doing it, and I think it was the right thing to do to avoid the scrambles that I went through last year and all the snickers of trying to find somebody to pay
for this thing,” Evans told reporters Thursday.

Metro typically charges $100,000 per hour for additional service, minus any fares paid during that time, and requires advance planning.

“It was the right thing to do, so I was very pleased,” Evans said.

He and General Manager Paul Wiedefeld had spoken Wednesday morning about what would happen if the Capitals’ game against the Hurricanes went into even more overtime periods.

Metro tweeted as the game headed into overtime that trains would run about 20 minutes after the game ended, no matter when that game-winning goal was scored.

The Hurricanes won about 11 minutes into the second overtime, just after many fans otherwise would have had to leave to catch regularly scheduled last trains due to Metro’s current 11:30 p.m. closing time Monday through Thursday.

“Going forward, I’m not sure what we would have done, but last night we made the right decision to do that,” Evans said.

Evans still believes the playoffs are a special case, and no similar extensions would be made for regular season games, concerts or other events that run late.

As a big supporter of D.C. sports teams, Evans called Wednesday’s loss that knocked the Stanley Cup champs out of the playoffs in the first round “disturbing.”

WTOP’s Max Smith reported from Metro headquarters.

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