In this morning's Washington Post we learn that to try and save some money, Metro's GM is considering doing away with its Night Owl Metrorail service from midnight to 3:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights (Saturday and Sunday mornings actually) and replacing it with bus service (Night Owls May Need A New Way Home, August 5, 2007; Lena Sun & Jonathan Mummolo). Are they freaking crazy? We like the fact that new Metro GM John Catoe is looking at ways to cut costs, however this is one idea that needs to be headed off at the pass.
The days when Metrorail was primarily just a commuter service are long gone. The system is now a primary part of many people's lives. Since I've moved close to a Metro station, I certainly use the weekend service regularly. How can we encourage people to live, work and play without using a car if they have to drive on the weekends? Do they want people driving after a night out? Do they really think that people will take the bus after taking the rail in? If anything our region should be trying to figure out ways to expand transit service not cut it back.
Here's a link to Metro's Board of Directors so you can tell them what you think. Let's hope that this is one idea that doesn't leave the station.
Chris Hamilton is the Commuter Services Chief for Arlington County, manager of CommuterPageBlog and a biking/Metro commuter from Rosemont in Alexandria