Metro seeks proposals to provide subsidized on-demand transportation for late night workers
Metro has issued a request for proposals to provide discounted on-demand transportation for late-night employees during hours when Metrorail is closed. Under a one-year pilot program, Metro would subsidize trips taken with ride-hailing or taxi companies during late-night hours to support more cost-effective options for eligible workers, primarily in the hospitality and health care industries.
The on-demand service will be offered seven days a week for trips within Metro’s service area between midnight and 4 a.m. Metro would pay the first $3 of the fare, up to a maximum of 10 trips per week per registered rider. The budget for the one-year pilot will be capped at $1 million.
The program is intended to benefit overnight workers affected by changes in Metrorail’s operating hours to support improved maintenance, safety and reliability.
“The system is safer and more reliable today as a result of the robust preventive maintenance work we are doing during those critical overnight hours,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld. “At the same time, we understand that Metro is a vital link for many late-night workers. That’s why we are looking at innovative ways to provide affordable transportation for workers while balancing our commitment to safety.”
Metrorail reliability has been near record highs for the past two months, with more than 9 in 10 trips arriving on time and unscheduled track disruptions down 75 percent in the second half of 2018, compared to the prior year. The improved infrastructure condition has also resulted in a sharp reduction in single-tracking events (down 35 percent) over the past eight months compared to the prior year.
Responses from prospective vendors are due April 10, and the program could begin as soon as this summer. The pilot results will be reviewed to determine whether to extend the program beyond one year.
At least 29 transit agencies or cities across the country are considering or have partnered with ride-hailing or taxi services as transportation alternatives.