Two weeks ago, Metro’s board heard, again, about the possibility of eliminating late night service on the weekends. This has reopened the debate about what direction Metro should be going, and whom it should be serving.
Two of the most vociferous opponents of such a change on the WMATA board have recently left, and the new board seemed more amenable to the idea.
There are those who believe that late night service is a big boon to Metro’s bottom line and that it should be continued. Others, especially within Metro, argue that closing the system earlier would give them the equivalent of 45 days more maintenance time per year, and lower costs for overtime.
As always with Metro, it’s a balancing act. On the one hand, the system is overloaded during the rush hours, has long lead times in the evening, and pretty crappy service on the weekends. It is constantly facing budget shortfalls, and its funding is always under attack. It is aging, and it isn’t in a state of good repair. It wasn’t designed to handle the service we’re asking of it, and we won’t fund it well enough to even make it run “normally”.