Officials with the D.C. Metro are proposing to close stations permanently before midnight in an effort to have more time for critical system repairs.
The transit agency proposed three possible changes with regards to opening and closing times for overnight maintenance. The D.C. Metro previously closed at 3 a.m. EST, however SafeTrack repairs have shut down the system at midnight since June, and Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld previously suggested making the change permanent. Two of the proposals push closing back even earlier to 11:30 p.m. on weekdays, reports NBC Washington.
One proposal also delays opening the Metro on Sundays until 8 a.m., instead of the usual 7 a.m. start time.
“The additional track time increases safety and reliability by giving workers the time and space they need to keep Metro’s infrastructure in a state of good repair,” Wiedefeld told NBC4 in July.
The first proposal closes the Metro system at 10 p.m. on Sunday and at midnight Monday through Saturday. Another suggests closing at 11:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday. The final proposal closes the Metro at 11:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, but extends hours to 1 a.m. on weekends. It also opens the system at 8 a.m. Sundays. (RELATED: Small Businesses In DC Losing Profits And Employees Due To Early Metro Closings)
Small businesses in Washington, D.C., are already losing employees and profits because of midnight Metro closures from SafeTrack. Many restaurants in the D.C. metropolitan area have experienced a 20 percent drop in sales since the track maintenance began, according to the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.
The biggest effect is on the employees who cannot afford peak Uber or taxi prices to get home after a 2 a.m. closing.
“Most of the concern goes to the employees,” Beggiato Tommaso, general manager of The Darlington House restaurant in Northwest, D.C., told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Some people will have to quit when the busy season picks up in the fall. I’m sure it will have repercussions on us.”
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