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How Will Partiers Travel Safely With D.C. Metro's Late-Night Service on Hold?
A post by Martin Austermuhle considers the possibility that the party might be over on weekends in the nation's capital, "as Metro does away with late-night service that for over a decade has kept trains running until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays." The shut down of service is part of the SafeTrack maintenance program, finalized in May and set to launch on June 18.
Austermuhle cites the example of the Big Hunt, located less than a block from the Dupont Circle station, and where "Metro's ups and downs can translate directly to how well the bar does." An employee of that bar claims that out-of-service escalators have impacted business in the past. It's a concern shared by many restaurant and entertainment businesses along Metrorail routes, writes Austermuhle.
Restaurants, clubs and late-night businesses across the region are now facing a new reality: Without an easy way to get around after midnight on weekends, bar-hoppers and night owls might spend less time out. And less time means less spending by consumers.
Austermuhle also considers the other side of the story: that in 2016, transportation network companies make have equipped people (who can afford it) with new mobility options (beyond driving drunk) that they wouldn't have had in the past. The new options raise the question of whether late-night transit users will even come back to the system once the SafeTrack maintenance work is complete.