Washington D.C. is currently closing public transportation systems at night for scheduled routine maintenance. Because of the significant inconvenience to passengers, the Metro subway system is looking to subsidize Lyft and Uber rides to help combat transportation issues.
On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported on the plan, which is still in the early stages. The subsidy is likely to provide $3 off for each ride, but it only applies to the Metro workers. The program doesn’t apply to people who are out for recreation and is only designed to help those get transportation to/from work in the hospitality and healthcare industries. Of course, the final draft may change to include other industries and other needs.
Along with such, the proposed plan only applies to trips that take place between 12:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., and the rider has to be going to work or home; there cannot be any stops in between. Along with such, the subsidy caps off at 10 rides per week per worker.
Currently, the measure is designed to be a stop-gap to help residents find other transportation options while the Metro plans to stop late-night operations to perform required maintenance work. However, many Metro riders fear that it might cancel all late-night trips indefinitely.
A Metro spokesperson said that the number of trips during the 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. period aren’t enough to justify keeping the system open during the wee hours of the morning.
The mayor of D.C., Muriel Bowser, opposes the idea and believes that Metro must continue its late-night hours.
Metro claims that it is considering the potential program based on the success rate of other cities that offer Uber and Lyft subsidies. For example, Detroit currently offers ride-sharing credits on some routes that don’t have adequate bus systems while areas of San Francisco Bay offer credits to riders who use commuter rail stations to help link ride-sharing and public transit rather than replace it.