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Metro extends hours for New Year's Eve and Day

Metro just announced its operating plan for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

Metrorail will operate on a regular weekday schedule with a 2 a.m. closing on New Year's Eve and a modified Sunday schedule on New Year's Day with a 2 a.m. closing.

Metro staff had originally proposed the New Year's Day schedule with a midnight closing for the rail system. Ridership is always light on New Year's Day, even when it falls on a weekday. This year's New Year's Day ridership was 152,000.

But on Thursday, Metro board member Neil Alpert, who also serves as D.C. city administrator, objected to that plan and asked the staff to reconsider. He said the that because New Year's Day is a Friday night, many people would be out in the city's entertainment centers and looking for a ride home on Metro. The rail system does normally stay open till 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

Staff did reconsider and came out with this plan.

New Year's Eve, Dec. 31
Metrorail will operate on a weekday schedule, opening at 5 a.m., and staying open two hours late, closing at 2 a.m. All trains will operate with six-cars. Metrobus will operate on a weekday schedule and will also operate until 2 a.m. to make sure rail and bus passengers catch their necessary connections. MetroAccess will operate normally.

New Year's Day, Jan. 1
Metrorail will open at 7 a.m. and close at 2 a.m. All trains will operate with six cars. Metrobus will operate on a Sunday schedule. MetroAccess will operate normally.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 22, 2009; 5:37 PM ET
Categories:  Events , Metro , holiday travel  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, travel tips  
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Next: VDOT to suspend lane restrictions for the holidays


So the story is that Metro will close one hour EARLY on New Year's Day. It is a Friday, why would they not stay open until their normal time?

Posted by: tounces | December 22, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: tounces, I guesss it depends on how you want to look at it. Metro normally closes at midnight on New Year's Day because of the very light ridership. It had planned to do so this New Year's Day, even though it falls on a Friday. Neil Alpert, the DC rep, asked the staff to review that decision and consider an extension. So the staff decided on a 2 a.m. closing.

Posted by: Dr_Gridlock | December 23, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

But shouldn't the fact that it's a weekend--and weekends always have 3 a.m. closing--trump the fact that it's New Year's Day? I would think the light ridership on a weeknight New Year's Day wouldn't necessarily translate to light ridership on a weekend New Year's Day.

Posted by: DOEJN | December 23, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Well you see your mistake is in expecting any of Metro's decisions to be based on logic and sound planning.

Posted by: thedude1974 | December 23, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Only 1 time in the last 9 years has New Years Day fell on a weekend (2005 it fell on a Saturday).

Of course this would explain the "light ridership" on New Years Day (especially in the later hours), it is a Federal and National Holiday and most people would have to work the next day so they would not go out to the entertainment districts.

That being said, I would argue for normal Saturday service being the most logical for New Years Day this year.

Not sure why they would think closing at 2 am on a weekend, when they normally close at 3 am, is doing anyone a favor.

If anything, this will hurt the DC and Arlington entertainment areas.

Posted by: m1ke3i6 | December 23, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

What entertainment centers is open on New Year's night in DC and Arlington? If you have a good answer,fine, I say run the rail system until 2 am. If not, save money and close at midnight.

Posted by: mrgnlry | December 24, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

mrgnlry: one word...bars.

Posted by: tounces | December 27, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

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