D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is taking a stand on Metro's operating hours as Washington Nationals fans brace for a difficult trip home after Thursday night's playoff game.
The game likely will not end by the time Metro is scheduled to end service at midnight -- and there's no plan for trains to keep running later.
Thursday morning, Bowser tweeted a plea to keep the trains running: "#KeepMetroOpen: "I believe strongly that the Metro Board and the General Manager need a process by which special events can be exempted," she wrote.
Bowser's statement Thursday is a marked difference from what she said Wednesday about the request to extend Metro hours: "Nats fans are amazingly persistent and creative, and we know they're going to plan ahead."
Metro general manager Paul Wiedefeld told News4 Wednesday that he knows it's difficult, but he will not keep Metro open late Thursday night. The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.
"It's a tough one, but think of the tens of thousands of people that have been impacted over the last few months," he said Wednesday.
Metro has refused to extend service for the Marine Corps Marathon and other "worthy" events, a representative said.
Bowser, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe were asked at an event Wednesday morning how thousands of Nats fans could get home after the sold-out game. They could not point to any specific plan.
The team has advised fans to think ahead about how they will get home.
"As fans know, Metro SafeTrack is in effect. Fans are strongly encouraged to consider alternate ways to get to and from the ballpark tomorrow night, particularly after the game -- which may end after Metro has closed," a news release issued Wednesday said.
The Nationals are advising fans to use ride-hailing services, the D.C. Circulator bus, the boat from Old Town Alexandria, or to bike.
The Circulator bus that runs between Navy Yard and Union station will stay open until 1 a.m. Friday after the game, administrators announced Wednesday afternoon.
For details on the Circulator bus route, see the website for the system.
The Nationals approached the transit agency about staying open late, but Metro refused to budge, WAMU reported.
As for whether Metro would stay open late if the Nationals made it to the World Series, Wiedefeld said maybe. He'll "cross that bridge" if the team and Metro come to it, he said.