DC Mayor: Why Can't Metro Accomplish Maintenance Without Cutting Hours?

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is speaking out against Metro's plan to cut back on weekend and late-night rail service a day before Metro is set to hold a public hearing to discusses those plans.

Bowser told News4 she does not understand why D.C.'s transit system needs extra time to do the maintenance other cities can handle with normal operating hours.

"We know that other systems can do it in that amount of time and if Metro can't do it -- why?," Bowser said. "If nobody believes in the system and the hours don't serve them, then we would be basically putting our system out of business slowly, but surely."

Metro has four different proposals that would slash operating hours and close stations at midnight or 1 a.m. on weekends. One plan suggests to have Metrorail running from just noon to 11 p.m. on Sundays.

The plans would essentially be a continuation of the maintenance WMATA is doing through its SafeTrack plan, which Bowser also questioned.

"I think that we don't know enough about [SafeTrack]," Bowser said. "I think that the metrics should be easy to understand and digest for decision makers and that's what we are pushing hard on."

Metro leaders say SafeTrack has allowed the transit system to accomplish a significant amount of work.

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On Thursday, the public can attend an open house anytime between noon and 9 p.m. or a public hearing anytime between 12:30 and 10 p.m. at Metro headquarters at 600 5th Street NW.

Metro is also asking people to give their input on the proposals through an online survey, by emailing writtentestimony@wmata.com or by giving feedback to staff in person at Metrorail stations.

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