Image by mosley.brian used with permission.

Late last night, 65 elected officials from Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties sent an official letter to Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, urging him to restore Metro’s late night service. This morning, starting at around 9 am, the Metro Board of Directors was set to meet to vote on a proposal to extend the current late night cuts to 2020. DC board members have threatened to veto this proposal, meaning that late night metro hours would return next summer.

The coordinated move from dozens of Maryland officials show that it’s not just DC who is concerned about the continued late night service cuts.

Metro ended late night hours in 2016 saying that it needed the additional time to make necessary repairs to the system. Those cuts were intended to be temporary, and under current policy full service is set to return in July 2019. However, Wiedefeld has asked the Metro Board to extend late night service cuts until 2020, saying that additional time is needed. However, as we pointed out recently, Metro has not been transparent about the exact timeline or nature of these repairs.

Organized by Maryland Delegate David Moon, District 20, officials in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties came together to send the following to Wiedefeld just hours before this morning’s vote:

Paul Wiedefeld
Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer
600 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
December 12, 2018

Dear Mr. Wiedefeld:

We, the undersigned officials from Montgomery & Prince George's counties, write to express our opposition to extending the elimination of late night Metro hours through July 2020. Many of us wrote to you in 2016, when this proposal was first announced, and we cited numerous concerns: hardship for service workers, increased drunk driving, a loss in ridership, and negative impacts on local businesses. We recognize the significant ongoing maintenance needs for Metro, but we believe addressing these needs does not require systemwide service reductions as we have experienced over the past several years.

Our residents and businesses have now made sacrifices for two years, in order to provide ample time for track maintenance. It is now time to try and win back riders with a restoration of service hours, and hopefully a reduction of headways. We want Metro to be both safe and convenient, and we believe the suspension of late night service should end on schedule in July 2019. That does not mean there will not be some late night closures of specific segments or lines for necessary projects, but those should be scheduled and planned.

We thank you for your work in prioritizing safety improvements, and we hope you will now work with us to similarly prioritize improving Metrorail reliability and convenience.

We will also share our concerns with the Maryland Governor's Office, Maryland Secretary of Transportation, and Maryland Board Members, as we recognize that they are our liaisons to you.

Thank you for considering our renewed concerns.



As of writing, 65 elected officials have signed onto this letter: five mayors, six state senators, 28 state delegates, 11 county councilmembers, 14 city councilmembers, and Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. Delegate David Moon shared the letter with us.

Organizers note that signatories were notified only seven hours before the letter was sent, so other supporters might have missed the deadline. Even so, given such a limited amount of time, this wide-spread show of concern from so many levels of government and from multiple jurisdictions is no joke.

Metro’s Board of Directors will likely decide this morning whether or not to extend late night service cuts to 2020. However, WTOP journalist Max Smith is reporting that this item may be pulled from the agenda altogether.

We’ll see if this letter has any affect this morning or in the future, in particular on any of the Maryland board members.


Full list of signatures:

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich
Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman
Greenbelt Mayor Emmett Jordan
Greenbelt Mayor Pro Tem Judith F. Davis
Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton
Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart
Senator Cheryl Kagan
Senator Susan Lee
Senator Jim Rosapepe
Senator Will Smith
Senator-elect Ben Kramer
Senator-elect Jeff Waldstreicher
Delegate Darryl Barnes
Delegate Erek Barron
Delegate Al Carr
Delegate Kathleen Dumais
Delegate Tawanna Gaines
Delegate Anne Healey
Delegate Ariana Kelly
Delegate Marc Korman
Delegate Jazz Lewis
Delegate Eric Luedtke
Delegate David Moon
Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk
Delegate Pam Queen
Delegate Kirill Reznik
Delegate Kris Valderrama
Delegate Alonzo Washington
Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins
Delegate-elect Gabe Acevero
Delegate-elect Lorig Charkoudian
Delegate-elect Charlotte Crutchfield
Delegate-elect Julian Ivey
Delegate-elect Julie Palakovich Carr
Delegate-elect Lesley Lopez
Delegate-elect Sara Love
Delegate-elect Lily Qi
Delegate-elect Emily Shetty
Delegate-elect Jared Solomon
Delegate-elect Vaughn Stewart
Montgomery County Councilmember Gabe Albornoz
Montgomery County Councilmember Andrew Friedson
Montgomery County Councilmember Evan Glass
Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker
Montgomery County Councilmember Will Jawando
Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro
Montgomery County Councilmember Craig Rice
Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer
Prince George's County Councilmember Mel Franklin
Prince George's County Councilmember Jolene Ivey
Prince George's County Councilmember Deni Taveras
College Park City Councilmember Robert Day
College Park City Councilmember Denise Mitchell
College Park City Councilmember John Rigg
Gaithersburg City Councilmember Laurie-Anne Sayles
Gaithersburg City Councilmember Michael Sesma
Gaithersburg City Councilmember Ryan Spiegel
Gaithersburg City Councilmember Robert Wu
Greenbelt City Councilmember Colin Byrd
Rockville City Councilmember Beryl L. Feinberg
Takoma Park City Councilmember Kacy Kostiuk
Takoma Park City Councilmember Peter Kovar
Takoma Park City Councilmember Terry Seamens
Takoma Park City Councilmember Talisha Searcy
Takoma Park City Councilmember Jarrett Smith