A handful of readers called to question Metro's holiday schedule over the Thanksgiving weekend. It was, these callers agreed, one of those good news/bad news situations.
The good news, praised by all, was that the subway's operating hours Sunday night were extended from the normal 6 p.m. shutdown until midnight, averting the crunch-and-cost problems of getting cabs home from rail, bus and airline terminals. By all accounts, patronage was brisk.
The bad news, the readers said, is that those who had waited to depart from Washington until Thursday morning, Thanksgiving Day, found the subway running on a Sunday schedule, which means it didn't open until 10 a.m. My callers said they had real problems getting cabs to go for earlier departures from Union Station and National Airport.
Why doesn't the subway open earlier on Thanksgiving morning?
It's a cost question, responded Beverly Silverberg, Metro's public affairs director. Metro officials figure most out-of-town travelers have departed by Wednesday night. Moreover, Thanksgiving and Christmas days are the lightest travel days of the year on Metro -- hence, the days on which the Metro board is reluctant to pay overtime to open the subway early and pile up even greater losses.
Reasonable responses from a narrow taxpayers' view. But Metro Scene looks to -- and endorses -- the day when the subway provides all-day service every day of the year.