Limited Metrorail hours could continue after SafeTrack is complete.
Metro staff members are recommending option three for a schedule change, which is one of four proposals nearly 16,000 locals voted on in October.
It would close Metrorail two hours earlier on Friday and Saturday night and a half to full hour earlier the rest of the weeknights.
“We’re gravely concerned about this,” said Kurt Erickson, President of Washington Regional Alcohol Program.
Monday’s announcement of the recommended proposal sparked concern across the greater-Washington area.
“If you look at Maryland as an example, the majority of that state’s drunk-driving crashes, injuries and deaths occurring between 2009 and 2013, all happened between midnight and 3 a.m.,” said Erickson.
The Washington Regional Alcohol Program pushed for option four, which would keep the same closing hours on Friday and Saturday night at 3 a.m.
As the number of drunk-driving fatalities is on the rise across the country, Erickson said now is not the time for Metro to ignore its role in keeping roads safe.
“This is still a scourge to be reckoned with,” said Erickson. “If we close down the routes by which these intoxicated individuals otherwise would get home, I fear that we’re gonna see the impact of that in terms of further increased drunk-driving incidents happening on the greater-Washington roadways.”
While social media and many Washington D.C. politicians exploded with negative feedback to the proposed cuts, support for cutting rail hours isn’t unforeseen.
“I believe the general manager is on the right track,” said Joseph Bradley, a Montgomery County resident.
“I think we need to continue to be vigilant about making time for the necessary repairs and maintenance to occur, and I think we’re just gonna have to live with this for a while,” said Nancy Floreen, President of the Montgomery County Council.
The formal recommendation will be made at Thursday’s board meeting.