The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is planning to allocate part of its budget to bringing back some of the suspended late-night hours. However, the agency is worried that it would cause delays more often for other riders.
If additional four hours of rail service is provided per week, there will be more single-tracking and rail shutdown zones on weeknights after 10:00 p.m. according to Metro leaders, who expressed their concerns in front of the board of directors on November 7.
“In order to expand late-night service, Metro will use late night bus-bridges and single tracking as needed,” the statement addressing the Metro Board said.
Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld’s proposal came as part of Metro’s new budget, aiming to increase the number of the service’s passengers.
As per the proposal, Metro would close at midnight Monday through Thursday, and add back one hour of service Friday and Saturday nights, closing at 2:00 a.m. Sunday hours, which are currently 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., would remain the same.
In addition, Metro riders would pay more for rush-hour services, as well as when they opt for using cash on a bus.
Metro hours were reduced in 2017, due to urgent need of extra time to do preventative track maintenance overnight.
With the help of scaling back service hours, “significant progress has been made to shift from reactive to proactive maintenance work in the Metrorail system,” the documents presented to the Metro board said.
“These improvements reduce demand for track time and enable Metro to expand service hours without impacting safety or service reliability.”