Statement from Executive Director Neil Albert on WMATA’s Plan to Permanently Eliminate Late-Night Metrorail Service


Wed. July 27, 2016

“The elimination of late-night Metrorail service could halt the transformation DowntownDC has been experiencing over the past 17 years.

“The elimination of late-night Metro service would return Downtown to the year 1999, the last time Metro closed at midnight. That year, the decision was made to extend service hours until 1am on Friday and Saturday nights. Later, in 2007, with strong support from the business community, late-night weekend service was further extended to 3am as Metro’s leadership leveraged private sector investments in the downtown late-night economy.

“Late-night Metro service enables customers to travel to and from bars, restaurants, theaters, and the Verizon Center safely, efficiently and affordably. The service is essential to the many workers who form the backbone of Downtown’s late night economy; security guards, restaurant and hotel workers and maintenance staff.

“Late-night transit service is a vital part of a transit-oriented lifestyle not only for the 10,000 residents of DowntownDC, but for all Metrorail accessible neighborhoods in the city and the region.

“While I recognize the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) need for adequate maintenance windows, many Metrorail peer systems complete maintenance without completely shuttering their transit systems. Chicago’s two-track Blue Line, Philadelphia’s PATCO Speedline, and NY/NJ’s PATH train operate 24 hours a day. Atlanta offers rail service from 5am to 1am, seven days a week. London will soon offer 24-hour service on Fridays and Saturdays on select Underground lines.

“The DowntownDC BID supports WMATA’s efforts to build a safe and reliable rail and bus system and stands ready to engage with WMATA to find practical and lasting maintenance solutions that will enable the growth and development of D.C. to continue.”

*This information has been edited for DowntownDC web content