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Post Partisan
Posted at 04:05 PM ET, 08/23/2012

When ballgames go into overtime, or whatever

From the mysterious, hidden recesses of the magically self-contracepting fallopian tubes to the mysterious matrix of subterranean tunnels running underneath Washington, PostScript has been shining a flashlight into unknowable depths all week. We continue today with the comments to The Post’s opinion on a better way to handle the rush hour from a delayed baseball game than what Metro did the other night, when fans got the option of leaving early on the Metro, before the thrilling game was over, or taking a cab home after the trains (and buses) closed, if they could find a cab and afford it. Bleah.

“Bleah” there was not meant to convey PostScript’s intolerance for being stranded without transportation in the middle of the night, because that is the beginning of many a great urban adventure that she has inadvertently enjoyed. PostScript loves urban adventure and would recommend equally savoring the aromas of people on the bus; watching two separate apocalypse preachers attempt to out-preach each other about two separate imminent apocalypses on the same train car; throwing up in the confounded trash cans they design to be hard to throw up in; taking the Green Line during an active hurricane; and ignoring a world-class musician because he’s wearing a baseball cap. No, “bleah” is reserved strictly for baseball itself, which PostScript disdains even in the middle of what she is reliably informed is a glorious pennant race, whatever that is; No, PostScript is down on baseball no doubt because she is deeply flawed and hates America and/or is a follower of Saul Alinsky and also because it is extremely boring and expensive and inscrutable and because she lives near Nationals Park and people jam up the streets on game days and then are too drunk to find their cars.

But she’s over it now in time to join the commenters’ discussion of how to deal with overtime (PostScript doesn’t care that’s not the right word) running past the last train on Metro. Judging from the comments, this is a huge issue involving the soul of the city, the soul of baseball and a whole lot of Benjamins. The Post advocated for the Nats to eat the costs of special runs on the nights of super extendo-games, which require a deposit with Metro, and contracts and stuff.

The problem, Lukashenko says, is that the Nats profit majorly from people who drive to and from, and they want to pump up those numbers:

I have a sneaking suspicion that Nats management (like Redskins management when the Metro shuttle buses were closed down due to a 2005 federal law) has visions of parking passes dancing in its head — with the expected growth of the season-ticket base they hope they’ll be selling more parking passes too and fewer matchgoers will use Metro.

NwWilma similarly thinks it’s the Nats ownership who’s dropping the ball (Augh. PostScript did not mean that metaphor. PostScript condemns all sports metaphors.):

It’s not up to Metro to take care of the Nats fans — it’s up to the Lerners. DC built them a stadium and then they tried to sue the city over their offices AND expected the DC taxpayers to buy their uniforms. They need to take a lesson or two from Ted Leonsis and learn how to take care of a fan base.

BadDayComing argues that The Post was lowballing the costs of extending Metro, though:

It’s not just a question of an hour. If the game did not end until “well past midnight”, then add to the end of the game, say, 45 minutes for fans to wander to the Metro station (someone’s always the slowest) and then you have, perhaps, an hour or two to get everyone to their home Metro station. So now we are talking about $90,000.

B_Al_Zebub wants Metro all the time and a government to pay for it. PostScript would now like to interject that while very few cities have 24 -hour subways, many have other options that run all night like light rail or buses:

It would be nice if Metro ran 24 hrs a day, like a lot of subway systems. They should have permanent government funding, and not be dependent on customers to foot the entire bill. The past history shows that when Metro expands hours, the customers show up, and eventually justify the extra time Metro runs. Public transportation, all over the world, is subsidized by governments. It’s a fantasy that it can run on fares alone. Trying to force customers to bear all costs, through fares, will put us back in the horse and buggy days. The 1850s the cretins crave to go back to.

And byelii says to fix that, you need to change more stuff to be like New York:

I think the problem is Metro’s ticketing schema. It requires stations to have an operating staff at each station due to the way fare cards work. On the MTA, the trains themselves carry the conductors who handle the ticket checking therefore all of our destination stations are unmanned at late hours aside from security staff.
Metro — get on at Smithsonian and go to Metro Center = $2.10 or $5.40 if you get off in my home town of Vienna at peak. In NYC, swipe your card and it’s $2.50 whether you go ten blocks or an hour+ out to Coney Island. The Metro trains are already going to be going to their destinations. It’s silly to me that one ride costs more than another.

And PostScript has poached some comments from Dan Steinberg’s column reporting on the same problem as the editorial opined upon, because she likes sticking it to sportsers:

slaytoam

Why don’t they just charge the customers double the normal rate or some other type of pro-rate to cover the costs of operations?

And bretton3021 is just full of righteous fury, which is irresistable to PostScript:

Let me see if I understand this situation. The Nats are on top of their league. The Nats play in Washington, D.C., the nation’s capital. METRO supposedly is our public transportation system. BUT if the Nats play beyond METRO’s shut down time, good luck to the fans. What part of being a world class city does Washington not get? Oh yeah, don’t stay out late unless you bring your own transportation. Nats, just pay the man. Otherwise, you will be the butt of a lot of baseball jokes.

PostScript has thought of one already. Since they moved to a new stadium, Nats attendance is up. It turns out they were right: “If you build it they will come.” But maybe we should have asked how they’re getting home.

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  04:05 PM ET, 08/23/2012

 
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