D.C. Metro has called for proposals to provide discounted on-demand transportation services for late-night employees during the times when Metrorail is closed for maintenance.
Metro would subsidize trips via ride-hailing companies under a one-year pilot program for late-night hours to “support more cost-effective options for eligible workers, primarily in the hospitality and health care industries.”
“The system is safer and more reliable today as a result of the robust preventive maintenance work we are doing during those critical overnight hours. At the same time, we understand that Metro is a vital link for many late-night workers. That’s why we are looking at innovative ways to provide affordable transportation for workers while balancing our commitment to safety,” Paul J. Wiedefeld, Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, said in a press release.
Metro will be offering the service on demand basis for seven days a week for trips within Metro’s service area between midnight and 4:00 a.m. Up to 10 trips per week per registered rider will be covered by Metro by paying first $3 of the fare. A budget of $1 million has been allocated for the one-year pilot program.
The service will benefit late-night workers who are affected by the out-of-service hours of Metrorail as it closes due to maintenance work and safety measures.
The Metrorail reliability for the past two months has been near record highs, as per the Metro press release, with more than nine in 10 trips arriving on time and unscheduled track disruptions down by 75 percent in the second half of 2018, compared to the previous year.
“The improved infrastructure condition has also resulted in a sharp reduction in single-tracking events (down 35 percent) over the past eight months compared to the prior year,” the press release noted.
Prospective vendors can submit their proposals until April 10 so that the program can start this summer. The chosen pilot proposal will also be reviewed to see if the program can be extended beyond one year.