hey pretty

Ceci n'est pas une "dating blog."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Another Armchair Critic With Some Suggestions for Metro

Dear Metro,

I know that DC bloggers have made a regular habit of documenting your inadequacies, further pushing them into the public discourse of what is wrong with this city. I also know that running a public transit system can't possibly be easy, especially one that spans two states plus the District. For the most part, I think you do a pretty good job. My time in cities such as San Francisco, Boston, New York and Paris have exposed me to systems much older than yours. Systems where the cars stop in the tunnels for 20 minutes with no good explanation of what the hold up is, systems with utterly incomprehensible transferring systems, systems that smell like ass, and systems that simply look like they're about to break down at any moment. All in all, I think you're a pretty upstanding public transit system. You don't smell that bad; your cars are air conditioned and clean; when you stop in the tunnels for periods of length, you at least let us passengers know what's up.

But something has been bothering me this week, Metro, and I thought that since you may not be aware of it, your good friend Hey Pretty should point it out. I have heard that because the city is trying to conserve electricity, you are running your trains slower on above-ground portions of your routes. This is great. I happen to work in energy efficiency issues, and I commend your contribution. Unfortunately, this also seems to mean that trains aren't running as often. For us commuters that's a problem. What's even more problematic that the city is encouraging people to spare the ozone layer more pollution on code red days such as this by taking the public transportation. Wait, let's pause for a minute to take stock of all this.

1.) Slower trains
2.) Trains running less often
3.) More people on trains

See where I'm going with this? I think you do. There is not nearly enough train to meet the demand of everyone who wants to use it. This morning, I stood in the Woodley Park metro station for 20 minutes waiting for a train to come that had room for my 5'2" body plus purse and yoga mat to squeeze into. I'm not a big girl, Metro. 20 minutes! Have I told you how utterly anal the head of our company is about punctuality? Do I need to start waking up 20 minutes earlier to take your overcrowding into consideration?

I'm not suggesting that there's an easy to solution to this. If there were, I have faith in the fact that you would have already enacted it. Maybe one possible compromise would be to add more cars to your trains. Can we try that? This morning I noticed that many of the cars were shorter than normal. Maybe there's a more technical necessity for this, but to the average commuter standing on the platform, it was quite a slap in the face.

So, to recap. I think you're great--in most circumstances. But your hot weather operations policy needs some *ahem* fine tuning. Thanks for hearing me out.

Your Friend,

HP

6 Comments:

Blogger Justin said...

hmm.. 20 mins? they said trains would only be delayed by 2-3 mins.. how rude metro! But they did hand out water to all that rode.. Which makes me curious. did they allow you to drink their water on the metro?

=)

2:31 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

Justin,

Yes, they came once every 5 minutes, but they were so crowded I had to wait a total of 20 (4 trains) before one came by that had room for me.

I didn't see any water!

2:50 PM  
Blogger Michael J. West said...

Water??? Metro's handing out water??? Is this only in the places with outdoor stations, mayhap? Cuz if they're giving it away in the city what am I doing paying $1.99 for Dasani?

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tracks have to cool off between trains, otherwise they can kink where the rails join. It's unfortunate, but there's nothing Metro can do about it.

http://www.dcist.com/archives/2006/08/01/thirsty_free_wa.php

2:14 AM  
Blogger avocadoinparadise said...

Fascinating discussion. I wonder if the last post was from a metro employee?

I applaud them for encouraging people to take public transit on hot days as well, and think they should step up that campaign to encourage everyone to take metro, on all days!

And they should really stop charging more for riding longer distances. This discourages people from taking the train in from the suburbs!!!

4:32 PM  
Blogger Hey Pretty said...

Yeah, I actually had a retort for that one but I let it slide.

Agreed on the rates. I metro from Woodley Park to Silver Spring twice a day, 5 days a week and I pay a rediculous amount.

8:20 PM  

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