Was there a typo here ? 1500 times $2.10 is only $3150 - not close to $29K. However, it's probably alot more than 1500 riders after a late playoff game.
One idea would be for metro to add a surcharge to the fare - maybe another $1 higher or the fare that's used during rush hour. It would take some programming into the system and there may not be enough time now. But if they charge rush hour fares, the programming change for after midnight fare would be minimal. They could continue this on weekends as well.
why would they bother? there is a system in place that every other team in town has managed to utilize- metro should have to reprogram fares (wouldn't that have to go through public comment...) because the lerners are too cheap to put 30k into escrow