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Posted at 10:03 AM ET, 02/11/2011

Should Metro shut down at midnight? Tell your stories

By Katie Rogers

metro.JPG How reliant are you on late night Metro service? (Pouya Dianat/The Washington Post)

After Thursday's report that Metro was considering shutting down Metro train service after midnight on weekends, a flurry of protesters took to the social web.

A #metrocurfew of 12am on Fri and Sat nights would be completely unacceptable.less than a minute ago via web

Vicious cycle: No one rides metro late at night because it sucks. But it continues to suck more if no one rides it. #metrocurfewless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

It's not even all about the drinking... Besides the festivities, many people rely on that as a means home on wknd nights #metrocurfew #DCless than a minute ago via web

Of more than 1,500 readers who told Dr. Gridlock their views in an unscientific survey, 47 percent said they considered late night Metro service "completely essential," and 37 percent said their weekends would be affected by a closure.

Enter Story Lab. Our reporters will ride the Metro rails late both Friday and Saturday nights to give readers a better picture of what's happening on public transit during the midnight to 3 a.m. slot when service could be ending. How long are the wait times? How many people are shuttling back and forth? Why are people riding the trains at that hour and what kind of conditions and service do they find? Look for reporter updates in Story Lab throughout the weekend and a complete report in Monday's Post.

In the meantime, we need your help describing what life is life in the late night underground.


Tell us what you see this weekend.

Chime in on the comments section or on Twitter by using #metrocurfew. (Hint: We'd love to see photos. You can also upload a photo by using your phone and that hash tag.)

Specifically, we'd like to know:

  • What's it like on Metro late at night?
  • How crowded is Metro late at night?
  • Would you even be out so late if Metro were not running?

By Katie Rogers  | February 11, 2011; 10:03 AM ET
Categories:  Assignment Editor, Build-A-Story  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Story pick: More than a name change
Next: Metro after Midnight: 17 minutes

Comments

Oh, that's ridiculous. The needs that drove the metro closing time to extend to 3am haven't changed, and anybody who's ridden the rails at night has noticed it does get heavily used (despite the very few trains running at night).

Metrobuses are no substitute, zero chance I'd use them instead of rail. If buses work, hey, let's move the metro opening time up two hours and run buses for those 2 hours instead, right?

Posted by: omarsidd | February 11, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Most people would be willing to pay a premium to use the metro at this time on weekends. Shutting down at midnight is not an option to be considered by a major U.S. metro area (unless DC is trying to become Mayberry). Whoever decided to even debate this should be fired & replaced with someone who can think more practically (person with 21st century mentality please)!

Posted by: jfsmith4 | February 12, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Metro needs to let uniformed police ride free again, so it feels safer. A Post writer wrote just a few days ago about a random beating he endured although it was at 7:30 (gang initiation, maybe). Dumbass witnesses used their cell phones to make video rather than call for help, and the Metro police let all the evidence get away. If people feel safe more will ride.

The Metro Board members don't even ride metro (except the PG rep). Do they still get the free parking and a company car? And they are not business people. This is another stupid decision, saving pennies to lose dollars. Just like the last rate hike lost so many riders, Metro lost money. If I can't ride metro home, I won't be riding metro there.

Posted by: saymyname | February 12, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

For me personally earlier closing times of metro on weekends are unacceptable. DC metro defines life style in dc, I stopped driving because I live close to metro and I know that I can rely on metro to get me to school and work, but also to the town on weekend, if I can't get the whole deal, I'll start driving again and they'll lose all the money that they get from me. Nobody is mentioning how metro is managed and how much money could be saved on some other things.

Posted by: nick43 | February 13, 2011 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for allowing the police to ride for free if it means keeping the Metro safer. As far as closing early, that would be a mistake. Many people rely on the Metro to get them to and from during major events downtown, ie - games and concerts/shows that go past 11:00 pm and allowing for the length of time that is required to "safely" walk out of the crowded venue and to the nearest metro that may take them to the far reaches of the suburbs, be it Vienna, or Shady Grove. Safely as in not pushing other people out of the way or being pushed yourself because of the fear the Metro will shut down before one gets to where they need to go. If people are afraid that they won't make their connections, they will be less likely to want to go to the event. Less ticket sales to events at night = loss revenue. Remember that DC. This is also punishing people that have to work late or get called into work during those late hours.

Posted by: pawz4clawz | February 14, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

The way to encourage the public to use mass transit is to restrict hours and service enough to where it's cheaper and easier to buy/maintain a car and risk driving it to wherever you're going.

Hmmm, who's tried that before? And with what kind of success?

Posted by: cfow1 | February 15, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

WOW! See this is what I don't get... Metro contunes to raise prices, for the sake of repair, & improving services, yet... elevators are constantly broke, & now they are talking about scaling back service. So where are the repairs & improvements that fees where raised for, IN THE 1st PLACE!?!? Really, why not just close Metro altogether, b/ continue to assess charges for services already NOT provided, b/c that's what it boils down to. Why offer the service at all, if they are just going to continue to decrease them... BUT raise prices!? METRO... I nominate YOU for the GTFOH Award for 2011!!!

Posted by: The_Funknician | February 15, 2011 11:48 AM | Report abuse

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