Metro Releases Report: “Public Hearing for Late -Night Service Changes “

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Elvert Barnes

In part the report says:

“The scenarios were developed to provide an additional 8 hours of track access each week to conduct safety-critical work, while also looking to minimize the number of riders impacted and the overall reduction in annual ridership. The attached presentation includes a chart showing ridership impact for each scenario.”

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“The span of service proposal is the result of recommendations from third party experts, peer review, and consultants brought in to review the current maintenance plan. These reviews found:

First, SafeTrack is right approach – accelerated program was needed to eliminate backlog in track maintenance

Second, Metro needs longer windows of track access to continue maintaining system
These findings are also consistent with repeated warnings from the FTA about the lack of maintenance time on the right-of-way.

Three proposed Metrorail span of service scenarios would provide an additional eight hours of track maintenance time each week (a 20% increase) to allow for extended work periods needed to improve safety and conduct state of good repair, continuous maintenance efforts.”

Read the full report here: metro hours scenarios (PDF)

24 Comment

  • I’ve been really curious about ridership numbers during particular hours (just because — not for any specific reason or to make any specific point). For example, I have a hunch there would be a lot more riders between midnight-1am Friday and Saturday than there would be between 7am-8am on Sunday if plan C was chosen. It would be cool if they had some data like this they could release so the public was more informed of general use outside of their own.

    • Agreed, I like Schedule B the best because I take Ubers home on the rare occasion that I’m out late on weekends, and I want WMATA to have more time to do maintenance and repairs. But that’s just based on my needs.

  • C seems to be the one that makes the most sense, though you could make arguments for all 3.

  • skj84

    I guess plan C is a good compromise. Open later on the weekends, but closing slight earlier on the weekdays.

  • From the PDF: “The number of riders using Metrorail’s late night service has decreased
    significantly over the last few years” Hmmm…could this be related to the fact that WMATA charges rush hour prices for late night rides despite having nothing near rush hour service?

    Though, glad to see this: “Considering existing late night ridership, preliminary demographic data indicates that
    the reduction in late night service disproportionately affects low-income riders. WMATA is therefore examining potential mitigation strategies, such as increasing late night bus service.”

  • Check out Plan D (added at the Board meeting today per Adam Tuss): 5am-midnight, Monday-Thursday; 5am-3am, Friday; 9am-3am Saturday; NOON to 11pm Sunday.

    To borrow from Comic Book Guy, Worst. Idea. Ever.

    • OMG, that is too much. I think Plan C is a fine compromise…. (but again, that’s just me.) From the people I know, none of them would ride the metro THAT late on the weekends, but they would ride a little after midnight. (I also tend to go home around that time and would still feel comfortable metro-ing at that point. I think this is a matter of safety as well.)

      • P.S. Do you think this has been introduced late as a negotiating anchor to try to get people on board with plan B or C? Like “Hey, you could have this TERRIBLE schedule so those don’t look so bad now, huh?” Hah!

        • If it were anyone else, I’d say they were joking. WMATA’s propensity to make the worst possible decisions, however, counsels in favor of loud opposition.
          .
          I’m relatively agnostic between Scenarios A, B, and C. Scenario A is the best for me personally, but I also recognize that not everything is about me. But Scenario D is a cluster of enormous proportions. It would be *terrible* for tourism, weekend races (which are already hosed enough), and anyone wanting to get anywhere before noon on Sunday.

        • Seems about right. It’s also beginning to seem more likely that reducing hours across the board (rather than shutting down one line at a time) is happening as a stealth budget cut, not so much for actual maintenance.

  • I’d vote for C if possible (D is hilarious), but none of these are okay without a detailed proposal of what late-night bus service will look like and when it will start.

  • C is the least bad option of the three, but WMATA is, as usual, just not trying very hard here. There are other systems in the country that are older, larger, and also lack a third/express track , but that don’t need to shutdown at midnight just to keep up with ongoing maintenance. take the L, in Chicago, for example. Some of the lines **never** close down, and even those that do are open til 1 am seven days a week.

    Local governments in this area, including WMATA, have gotten lazy because for so long, citizens just didn’t expect any better. Not good enough anymore.

  • Will Wiedefeld attend the funeral of anyone killed in a drunk driving accident that is linked to the Metro not being open late night on weekends?

    • Is this sarcasm? Because there’s Uber, Lyft, Ride Split and regular cabs for people to get home.

    • While drunk driving is something I am very concerned about, it is not Metro’s responsibility to ensure that people are not driving while drunk. No one has the right to public transportation after an evening of drinking too much.
      .
      Besides, I think you’d be hard pressed to prove that any drunk driver would have actually been riding Metro instead if only it had been running.

  • None of these plans really consider how this impacts any number of scenarios. Events such as ballgames, concerts, or late plays would all leave people stuck or forced to leave an event early. Which is ridiculous.

    More important, what about those people who cannot leave such events early. The staff working these events have to stay until they’re over. How fair is that? The lack of consideration for those who rely on metro as the least expensive commuting option are the ones who will suffer most.

    As it is, I take metro to and from the office and otherwise do not even consider it. And since parking is nightmarish at many venues (Nationals Park I’m looking at you) then I often choose to not even go. Lost revenue for the event, to say the least.

  • HaileUnlikely

    I’d personally prefer A or B and don’t have a strong preference between them. I exclusively use the bus after about 9-10 PM because it gets me closer to my house and I don’t feel safe walking home from the metro (about 3/4 mile) later than that.

  • None of those plans are acceptable to me. And bringing that stupid scenario D to the meeting just shows they aren’t serious.

  • These plans are all a punt by Metro on any real alternatives. Tinkering around the fringes is not providing “options,” they need to also provide options such as rolling, permanent Safetrack outages, discontinuing late-night service but replacing with buses now (not in the future), and focusing maintenance on one line (they are not literally going to work on all of them at once from 12am-3am).

    This is a farce designed to cage in the board, and the board should reject it and send Metro back to square one.

  • Big League City. Seat of power. Tourist haven.
    Public transportation joke.
    If you wanna be a BIG DOG, play like a BIG DOG.