A couple of weeks ago, we wrote that we thought Metro would lose money by staying open late to ferry college hockey fans home after the NCAA Frozen Four despite the Verizon Center ponying up $27,000 per hour the transit system says it needs to stay open. Some thought that was a good deal: Metro got paid and riders had options..
Well, it turns out that $27,000 doesn't cover Metro's costs, and now Metro might not even get that, according to the Washington Post. DC is threatening to withhold payment to WMATA for extra-hour train service should a Nats game go past midnight, putting the service in the "unenviable position of having to choose between stranding baseball fans or running service it can't afford."
And even if DC chipped in...
"Metro's extra expenses for Monday night [a rain delayed Nats game] go well beyond the $27,000-an-hour fee. It costs about $2 million a day to operate the rail system, and one hour of rail electricity runs $11,821. Late closings reduce the window of time in which track maintenance and repairs can take place; those schedules are set months in advance, and changes are costly. And Metro's labor contracts require that employees receive 72 hours' notice if they must work beyond their regular schedule."