WASHINGTON — Metro is considering contracting with ride-sharing companies to provide subsidized rides to late-night workers, the transit agency confirmed Wednesday.
The move comes on the eve of more debate over restoring Metro’s operating hours to pre-2016 levels when the system was open until midnight on weeknights and 3 a.m. on weekends.
“We expect to issue the RFP in the coming weeks and a start date for a pilot to be announced later this year,” said Metro spokesperson Sherri Ly.
A similar idea was proposed by Metro board member Michael Goldman of Maryland in 2016.
Sources with knowledge of the matter told WUSA9 they do not believe that the idea will gain further traction with Metro’s board as it continues to grapple with how to restore late-night rail service.
Metro riders took to Twitter, denouncing the latest plan.
“Insanely stupid idea,” said Jeff Rueckgaue. “Stop creating new ways to avoid providing reliable, safe, world-class transit.”
Uber and Lyft are among Metro’s stiffest competitors. In a new study, researchers at the University of Kentucky found that when ridesharing apps entered a market, rail and ridership and bus ridership decreased.
Researchers said the effect “builds with each passing year and may be an important driver of recent ridership declines.” The new data reinforces drops in Metro ridership by more than 100,000 average daily riders over the last decade.
Last summer, DC council considered taxing ridesharing to help fund Metro.