Nats Fans Could Get Left Without a Train

Metro no longer funding extended hours for baseball games

Monday, May 2, 2011  |  Updated 11:03 AM EDT
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Nats Fans Could Get Left Without a Train

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Tonight, the Nationals will look to seal a series win over the San Francisco Giants. But Nats fans should not only hope for a win, but a quick game.

According to the Washington Examiner, if things run a little long, many will likely not have a ride home.

The Examiner is reporting this morning that Metro has no plan to keep trains running past midnight if tonight’s game runs late, because there is a dispute over who should foot the bill.

“While the District has covered these costs in the past, we are no longer able to do so in these lean budget times and encourage the Nationals to pick up this expense,” D.C. City Administrator Allen Lew told the Examiner.

Lew added in his interview with the Examiner that the city already pays more than a half million dollars per season to provide extra security and officers for traffic outside the stadium. The city agreed to that expense in the original lease. But not included in the lease agreement, Lew told the Examiner, is funding for late-night Metro service.

WAMU reported last week that late-night service could cost as much as $90,000 in overtime for train operators, station managers and transit police.

The Nationals have declined to comment on the disagreement, but team spokeswoman Lara Potter told the Examiner that extended hours are rarely necessary for home games, because the average game has lasted just two hours and 50 minutes, ending about two hours before Metro’s midnight close.

Metro will extend service for major events if it is prearranged. According to the Examiner, the transit agency charges $29,500 per hour, but refunds the group if riders’ fares cover the cost. Most late-night baseball games however are not planned in advance and don’t typically cover the cost.

But with city officials encouraging fans to take mass transit and many of the stadium's employees using the service, a lack of late trains could cause a major problem if a game happens to run late.

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