The Federal Transit Administration announced that it might pull $1.6 billion in funding from the Washington region if WMATA decides to extend its Metrorail hours. The FTA cites safety concerns: Extended service hours would cut into overnight Metrorail maintenance.
This puts a wrinkle in the debate about extending Metrorail hours. Proponents of longer hours say that the current schedule disproportionately affects workers in the hospitality industry, who struggle to find reliable, affordable transportation once Metrorail closes. But others are worried that extending the hours would lead to more delays for daytime riders and an economic loss for the WMATA, since Metrorail maintenance would need to shift to daytime hours.