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D.C. Subway Hours Extended

September 23, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The subway system in the nation’s capital is going to stay open one hour past midnight on weekends starting in November for an eight-month trial run.

The 11-member board of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority voted unanimously Thursday to extend Metrorail’s hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The demonstration project begins after midnight Friday, Nov. 5, and will continue until June 30, 2000.

More than 16,000 transit riders, environmentalists, members of groups against drunken driving and others signed petitions supporting the extension after D.C. Councilman Jim Graham made the proposal in July.

About 3.2 million people in the District of Columbia, northern Virginia and suburban Maryland have access to Metrorail. Although an estimated 383,000 passenger trips are logged on the 92.4 miles of track on weekdays, ridership on weekends and off-peak hours has been low.

Supporters say the extra hour could bring additional crowds to bars and restaurants after concerts, sporting events and plays.

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