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Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA considers extending passenger-train hours

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) might expand its hours this year to provide increased service to the Washington, D.C. area.

Options for expanding hours that were presented at this week’s board meeting include extending service from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and beginning service at 7 a.m. rather than 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The agency also is considering whether to operate trains at 5 a.m. weekday mornings instead of 5 a.m. at the ends of each line and open downtown stations at 5:30 a.m.

"At a time when we are seriously contemplating readjusting Metro’s fare structure, I think we need to justify any increases by offering better value for the fare dollar," said Board Chairman Jim Graham in a prepared statement.

The proposed extensions would not go into effect until July 1. If all three proposals are approved, WMATA expects ridership to increase by 1.1 million riders annually.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/28/2003