While celebrating Metro’s budget proposal to expand rush-hour service into the evening, and other service increases needing some extra funding to get finalized, you will not be able to celebrate the return of late night operations. According to WTOP, Metrorail operation will continue to stop before many people finish nighttime regalia and certainly before the bartenders can head home from a shift.
“Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld has ruled out expanding Metrorail’s operating hours any time soon.
Metro has been running on reduced hours since 2016 to allow maintenance crews more time to work on tracks when trains aren’t running. Weekend hours have been especially cut back; trains used to run until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
“It’s something we would love to offer more of, but right now, since we are using that time for preventive maintenance and to catch up, I would not suggest that we move away from that right now,” Wiedefeld said under questioning by the Montgomery County council.”
Metro Closes Early on the Weekend to Perform Maintenance
“The reality is when we were running until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, we did zero maintenance on weekends,” he [Wiedefeld] said.
That is maybe a reason to hope that, long off into the future when Purple Line trains crisscross the Maryland suburbs, Metro can return to late-night service once the backlog of maintenance is completed. Whether or not there is a real or theoretically possible “end” to the backlog is up for debate. For many SafeTrack is Forever and The Real SafeTrack is the friends we made along the way.