Metro Worse than you thought Possible

Don’t ride Metro

Even those who didn’t see the questions beforehand considered the evaluations a breeze. “I’ll be honest with you—I studied harder for fast-food jobs and waiter jobs when I was in college than I did for their program,” says Kenneth Colvin, who was a US Army air-traffic controller before joining Scarbrough and Watkins’s training class. “Their testing program is a joke.”

Things got even stranger when the new hires started on-the-job training and found a workplace that, according to five recent ROCC trainees, was inhospitable to newcomers. The ROCC’s employees were mostly WMATA lifers who almost never left the Landover facility. (Even when the Silver Line opened, controllers watched a DVD about the extension instead of touring it.) Many veterans hardly spoke to the new hires, who felt as if they were being iced out. “They wanted us to fail,” Colvin says.

It’s hard to even recommend it for tourists anymore. I use it sparingly, but honestly, Uber is just so much more convenient. So i’m saying that i’d get in an loosely-regulated jitney driven by a stranger (UberX) before getting on a heaving regulated transit system is all you need to know. Of course, on Tuesday, my UberX driver had a Mercedes C-class Sedan.

Also: What an incredible smell you’ve discovered.

This wasn’t the only troubling thing the feds found in Metro’s plumbing. The FTA discovered that train drivers regularly relieved themselves on the tracks because supervisors, due to inadequate training, weren’t comfortable taking the wheel to give them bathroom breaks.

 

16 Responses

  1. I use the Red Line a lot, but always off hours.

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  2. It’s the Red line because it’s always on fire.

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  3. I am a big fan of public transit and use it in other cities as often as possible but I have begun to just avoid the Metro for a variety of reasons.

    Reliability. There is no guarantee you will get to an event on time. On weekends they are continually down for track maintenance. Schedules are erratic at night.

    Crowding. The Yogi Berra attack would be that nobody rides the Metro because it’s too crowded. It is at rush hour and on weekends during popular events.

    Price. For a family of three, round trip from the suburbs is about eight bucks a person plus parking. For $20 you can park all day at an underground lot near the Mall.

    Safety. People should not be dying of smoke inhalation during a track fire. ‘Nuff said.

    This summer I went to Barcelona and rode their subway three different times. Trains run every four minutes. Like clockwork. The stations are spacious and well-lit, The trains are very new, clean, and comfortable. It is everything a modern system should be.

    The DC Metro is quickly reaching the level of dysfunction where it is in a negative feedback loop.

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  4. The difference between the DC Metro and Spain is that the DC Metro is in Washington DC. Thus, I feel confident, it cost ten times as much to run 1/10th as efficiently as the train in Spain, which isn’t such a pain.

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  5. Compared to the NYC subway, DC has nothing to bitch about…

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    • The NYC subway has its problems but it’s primary advantage is that it runs 24 hours. You don’t have to worry about turning into a pumpkin and missing your train if the Bruce Springsteen encore goes over.

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  6. ” Bruce Springsteen”

    Milhouse: “Hey everybody! An old man’s talking!
    S6E24

    Uber. use uber.

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    • Had a bad experience with Uber in Fort Lauderdale. Had a party of four and ordered a UberXL. The first request got dropped when he figured it was going to take him 20 minutes to get to us. The second one somehow was dispatched to our destination, not our location. I called the guy but he spoke no English. I cancelled the ride and still got charged $5.

      We grabbed a taxi instead. The fare was $4 plus two bucks to tip the valet and the taxi showed in less than a minute.

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  7. And let me go on record saying that the London tube sucks even worse than NYC

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    • Brent:

      And let me go on record saying that the London tube sucks even worse than NYC

      You can say that again. Trains in the UK, whether commuter rail or tube, were dreadful.

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  8. ” I cancelled the ride and still got charged $5.”

    did you request a fare review? that’s too bad though. i’ve rarely used it outside of DC.

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  9. You can say that again. Trains in the UK, whether commuter rail or tube, were dreadful.

    I moved to London in March of 2001. I wanted to buy a monthly tube pass. I had to fill out paperwork, which was filed in 1950s-esque file cabinets behind the person in the window. Exhibit (a) about how the government is always at the leading edge……

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  10. Trains in the UK, whether commuter rail or tube, were dreadful.

    I remember taking the chunnel – the train would crawl until the southern border, then it would fly…

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  11. ” Bruce Springsteen”

    Milhouse: “Hey everybody! An old man’s talking!

    Tickets for the first leg of his The River anniversary tour went on sale today. All the seats at Verizon Center except for nosebleeds and behind-the-stage sold out almost immediately. So I’ve got tickets to see him at Wells Fargo in Philly since they aren’t on Ticketmaster. There are already scalped tickets on sale in my section for $500+ each. Broooce leaves a lot of money on the table since he flat-prices the arena.

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  12. And Philly is, essentially, as close as DC. Well, at least for me on this side of the beltway. 🙂

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