Metro, Triumphantly Moving Forward, Will Dramatically Cut Service

So I’m not even going to mention that not only hasn’t Metro fixed the cooling system at Dupont Circle and Farragut North (or that they now can’t even offer an estimate of when it will be fixed). Oops I kinda did. Because the D.C. Metro has proposed cutting late night service (boldface mine):

Restaurant interests and others are whaling on a new proposal to end late-night Metro service—permanently—after the SafeTrack maintenance program is over, saying that stopping service at midnight six nights a week and at 10 p.m. Sundays would devastate nightlife, business, and the ability of workers to get home after their shifts.

Greater Greater Washington calls the move “a terrible idea.” And in a statement Tuesday, Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington President Kathy Hollinger said restaurants are worried that reducing service indefinitely would inconvenience patrons and staff who travel at “non-typical hours.”

“We have heard from member restaurants that sales are down as much as 20 percent due to early Metro closures and the current SafeTrack schedule,” Hollinger added. “The impact of the Metrorail’s schedule on restaurants and small businesses cannot be ignored, and we welcome the opportunity to be included in the upcoming discussions to share the true effect of this decision.”

Under the ongoing SafeTrack maintenance plan that the transit agency began in June, Metrorail closes at midnight every day. Before, it had stayed open until 3 a.m. on weekends. Under a new proposal by Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, the rail system would continue to shut down at midnight every day—except Sundays, when it would close at 10 p.m.

This would be a permanent cut in service (there’s no mention of adding buses to pick up the slack), and would essentially turn Metro into a commuter rail system, as opposed to a mass transit system. It would stall the ongoing development of D.C. This would hurt Metro in the long term, since people are less attached to–and thus less willing to fund–what is simply an alternative commuter system:

In a larger sense, this proposal is just downright depressing because it represents an unbelievably pessimistic outlook. Instead of putting out a bold 3 year plan to really bring Metro up to the standards of a world class system, we’re instead talking about cuts and permanent 10 pm closings! Where’s the vision, the drive, the sense of making the system BETTER? Why is it we keep reducing standards instead of increasing them?

It also highlights the ongoing incompetency at Metro:

Just about every system in the world (almost all of them only 2 tracks throughout) is open for longer hours than Metro—often many more hours per week. If they can’t find a way to maintain regular service levels with those hours and scheduled larger disruptions where needed, there has got to be something uniquely wrong with Metro’s maintenance processes.

Maybe Metro is a secret plot to turn liberals into laissez-faire privatizing conservatives?

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3 Responses to Metro, Triumphantly Moving Forward, Will Dramatically Cut Service

  1. Net Denizen says:

    As a frequent BART rider, having a commuter rail line sucks when trying to plan a night out without worrying about where you put your car and how much it might cost you to park it. “Does the [event] end before midnight? No? Maybe we should just stay in tonight….”

  2. The small city I used to live in many years ago had a bus system that stopped all lines by 9pm. I thought that was restrictive. I imagined a future where mass transit would expand. Then that city stopped all lines by 6pm, which is the case today. No service at all on Sundays.
    It’s a struggling town in decline for many many years.
    But if this kind of cutback is happening in DC too, I wonder if we’re just seeing the end of progress of civilization generally in our country.
    After all, this is not just a major city, it’s the capital of our nation.

  3. This.shaking says:

    Mike: You peril your credibility by not checking your sources. The long-respected cyber security guru you cite is Bruce Schneier (please note the N you omitted.) Thank you. TS

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