Montgomery Officials Call on Metro To Restore Late Night Service
More than 40 pen letter to WMATA chairman
Sen. Chris Van Hollen
More than 40 elected officials from Montgomery County are asking the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority to restore Metrorail service between midnight and 3 a.m. on weekends.
In a letter sent Wednesday to Paul Wiedefeld, the chairman of the authority, the leaders said “our residents and businesses have now made sacrifices for two years, in order to provide ample time for track maintenance. It is now time to try and win back riders with a restoration of service hours…”
The letter was signed by leaders including Montgomery’s county executive and mayors of Rockville and Takoma Park, and about 25 officials from neighboring Prince George’s County.
Newly elected Montgomery County Council member Andrew Friedson, who represents District 1, said late night Metro service is key to nightlife in the county.
“Late night service is critical for the service industry, the late night economy [and] for public safety,” he said Thursday morning after a breakfast meeting in North Bethesda.
“We need to restore people’s confidence in the Metro and have good reliable service, and one way we can do that is by restoring good, late-night service so people can enjoy all of the late night amenities in the DC region,” said Councilman Evan Glass, an at-large member elected in November.
The board of the transit agency is scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to bring back the additional hours as it confronts a range of budget proposals that include possible fare hikes.
Metro Board Chair Jack Evans and board member Corbett Price, both of the District of Columbia, said they planned to vote against the reauthorization of early closings that have been in place since 2016 in order to give the transit system’s workers more time to perform night maintenance, according to a report in Wednesday’s Washington Post.
This past spring, Maryland, Virginia and the District approved an annual combined subsidy of $500 million in dedicated funding for WMATA. The federal government also provides $150 million per year in funding to the transit system.
During a legislative breakfast Thursday sponsored by the Committee for Montgomery, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) called on Congress to reauthorize the federal allocation.
“We’re gonna have to work with our colleagues [in the Senate] to reauthorize support for the Washington Metro system,” he said.
Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org