Metro Announces Pilot Program to Subsidize Lyft Rides for Late-Night Commuters

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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) on June 24 introduced a pilot program called “After Hours Commuter Service” to support late-night commuters. 

 The one-year on-demand transit service pilot program will provide qualified workers a $3 subsidy toward shared Lyftrides between 12am and 4am seven days a week for up to 10 discounted rides per week within Metro’s service area.
 
Commuters wishing to receive discounted rides must apply online here. Once approved, participants will receive a pass each month on their Lyft app. The application period began June 24 for individuals wishing to pre-apply for July 1.

This program will be capped at $1 million and be piloted from July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020, after which it will be further evaluated. 

According to WMTA, at least 29 transit agencies or cities across the country are considering or have partnered with ride-hailing or taxi services as transportation alternatives. [View WMATA’s full press release here.]

WMATA temporarily suspended late-night Metrorail service in the summer of 2016 during the SafeTrack maintenance and repair program and has since chosen not to restore it, citing a need to utilize late-night hours for maintenance and safety repairs. The absence of late-night Metrorail service has presented challenges for the late-night economy, including workers in the service industry.