D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray said Wednesday that Metro hasn’t justified its plans to discontinue night bus service in parts of Southeast Washington where the transit agency says teenagers are throwing rocks at buses.
Gray, responding to reporters’ questions about Metro’s proposal, said the city has not been provided with evidence supporting Metro’s assertion that buses are targeted two or three times in a given week.
Even if attacks are happening with such frequency, cutting service in parts of the city’s poorest ward is not the solution, the mayor said.
“The people who live in these neighborhoods use these conveyances to get to work, to get to other parts of the city,” Gray said in a news briefing. “Based on the data that we have seen thus far, it just doesn’t seem to be the kind of case it’s being made to curtail the service.”
City leaders and Ward 8 residents have questioned Metro’s plan for the W6 and W8 routes, saying more police intervention is needed to address the problem before resorting to service cuts in an area highly dependent on public transit.
But so far, neither Metro Transit Police nor D.C. police appear ready to mount the sort of law enforcement effort that might root out those who are said to be targeting the buses.
Metro’s board will meet Thursday for the first time since news organizations reported the proposed service cuts, and some of the transit agency’s directors have said in recent days that they are going to give careful consideration to the proposal.