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D.C. Riders: Late-Night Transit Cuts Would Leave Workers Stranded

12:24 PM EDT on October 24, 2016

Hard to believe, but one of the biggest transit agencies in the U.S. -- WMATA -- is moving to eliminate eight hours of late-night Metro service per week. The whole system will simply not be available for those eight hours, and people in D.C. are livid.

Protestors demonstrate against late-night service cuts outside a Metro board meeting last week. Photo: Greater Greater Washington
Protestors demonstrate against late-night service cuts outside a WMATA board meeting last week. Photo: Greater Greater Washington
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How would those cuts affect transit riders? At a recent public meeting on the service cuts, people spoke about how they rely on late-night Metro service. Greater Greater Washington shares this synopsis from contributor Nicole Cacozza:

One man came to testify on behalf of his former coworkers in the service industry who worked long shifts and needed Metro to get home.

A woman from WMATA's accessibility committee spoke about just not being able to travel on weekends if Metro cut its morning service, because she cannot get around without public transportation.

One woman who immigrated to Maryland as a child said that she used Metro to travel to Virginia after school in order to spend time with other people from her home country, and she currently knows people who use it to attend GED classes after work.

One person brought up that there have already been reports of workers sleeping in their offices because they could not get home.

GGW's Jonathan Neeley adds that WMATA has not done a thorough job justifying these cuts, which the agency says are necessary to allow more time for maintenance. Rather than shrinking service hours for the whole system forever, Neeley suggests WMATA could tackle repairs one line at a time, using temporary closures. Otherwise, the agency will have to expand late-night bus service dramatically to keep the city moving.

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Dirt says it's time to stop using nebulous terms like "renewal" and "revival" to describe urban changes that may harm current residents. And Seattle Transit Blog looks at how Sound Transit is trying make better use of its park-and-ride facilities.

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