Possibility of all-night Metrobus service discussed

September 10, 2013

Don’t get too excited because it isn’t likely to happen in the near future, but WMATA officials are trying to gauge whether there’s enough demand for all-night Metrobus service.

D.C. is one of the few major metropolitan transit systems that does not offer all-night bus service, according to Metro officials. Officials said they’ve heard from riders – many of whom work nights – who would be interested in all-night service.

Tonight, Metro’s director of bus planning, Jim Hamre, will meet with members of a local transit group to hear feedback on the idea. The meeting is sponsored by the Action Committee for Transit and will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building.

Hamre said Metro will hold similar discussion groups around the region to figure out where it should add all-night bus service. There is no funding at this point to offer the service, he said, and it wouldn’t likely get funding until the fiscal 2014 or fiscal 2015 cycles he said.

Metro has eight bus routes that run along major corridors, mostly in the District, that run nearly all night. Some of those routes run along Wisconsin and Pennsylvania avenues, 16th and 14th streets and Georgia Avenue. The bus routes close down for roughly 30 minutes to up to two hours before starting again, Hamre said.

He said all-night service would fill gaps for riders who need to get around after Metro’s rail service ends.

“With the economies of downtown we are trying to figure out is there now enough demand,” Hamre asked. He said there is also a need to serve the “night time economy” of waiters, janitors, medical workers and others who work late or in the middle of the night.

Dana Hedgpeth is the Washington Post’s lead reporter in covering the Metro rail and bus systems in the D.C. region and the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) that runs them.
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