Photo by M.V. Jantzen on Flickr.
Since 2007, Metro has stayed open until 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays, and midnight on Sundays. This important service helps workers at late-night businesses return home, brings tax revenue to the District and jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia, and keeps people out of cars who aren’t in a condition to drive.
Many peer public-transit systems operate late hours or even 24/7 service. But Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld wants to close Metro at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 pm on Sundays. That is not in the best interest of the District and our region.
Late-night service has been a boon to the District and other jurisdictions in the region. The District’s restaurant and bar employment grew by 24,300 jobs between January 2000 and this July (from 27,900 to 52,200), and its annual tax revenue from restaurant and alcohol sales has grown by $261 million between fiscal 2000 and fiscal 2015 (from $176 million per year to $437 million per year), according to calculations by the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District.
The proposed cuts could reduce employment in the District by 2,000 to 4,000 jobs and reduce sales tax revenue by $8 million to $12 million per year. There would be a similar effect in Silver Spring, Bethesda, North Bethesda, the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, Crystal City and Alexandria.
Continue reading our column in the Washington Post.