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Why the metro sucks

October 19, 2007

Let me start with this: convenience is only convenience if it is consistent. Almost unerringly consistent. Could you imagine considering cell phone service to be convenient if you were placed in queues to wait for your dialed call to go through? Putting up with service disruptions on a Friday or Saturday night?

Cell phone service is great because it just works. Almost anywhere, anytime, it works. There’s the occasional dropped call but that’s no big deal really. Companies say “here’s a solution to make your life easier”. Upgrades done to cell and data networks are usually pretty transparent.

Do you know when servers at work go down for planned maintenance? Usually overnight. Not at 3pm on a Friday when you have things to finish before you leave for the weekend (accidents do happen).

This is why I hate the metro. It should be convenient. By all means I should be pleased with it. But WMATA (the folks in charge) are just KILLING ME with their so-called “planned service disruptions”. Here’s the latest:

Metro will operate shuttle train service between the Huntington and King Street Metrorail stations because of switch maintenance work at the Huntington Metrorail station. Inbound and outbound trains will share one track between these locations from 9 p.m., Friday, October 19, to closing (midnight), Sunday, October 21.

Once the shuttle train arrives at the King Street Metrorail station, passengers will need to transfer to a Blue or Yellow Line train at King Street to reach their final destination.

During this time, all Yellow Line trains will operate between the Fort Totten and Franconia-Springfield Metrorail stations.

Customers should add at least 30 minutes to their schedules because of this work.

So, let me understand this. While the highway does major construction work during overnight periods, WMATA schedules theirs for prime usage (Friday night) time. Not only that, they do it on the fucking WEEKEND. When do you suppose most people are using the train between 9pm and 12pm? On a Monday? Obviously I’m not claiming to have the statistics, but I’m taking a mildly educated guess here and assuming that it’s much more crowded on the trains on Friday from 9-12pm than other weekdays. This work is also carrying over to Saturday.

What? WHY? If WMATA is already paying its maintenance people to work weekends, which I’m sure they’d rather not do, why not just make it overnight? Run a damned 3rd shift maintenance crew and fix it then. The metro closes at a decent hour on weeknights. There’s also less people traffic late on weeknights. Why are they inconveniencing tons more people (and likely TOURISTS, who leave and tell their friends how dumb our train system is) than they have to? I don’t care what type of service you operate. You do not have planned downtime scheduled for prime usage hours. That is an absolutely abysmal business model. There’s kids in Junior Achievement classes that would laugh at that idea.

And, ultimately, this is why I drive. As often as possible. I hate giving these idiots any of my money. I’d rather sit in traffic driving to work than spend $6 a day going to and from my home knowing that it’s going to some organization with its collective head up its giant collective ass.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 15, 2009 12:46 pm

    I noticed that this is not the first time you mention this topic. Why have you chosen it again?

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