Friday, November 21, 2008

On the Metro

Here are some general thoughts I've had lately when I've been taking the Metro to work

Why when the door chimes chime and people rush to get on to the train (or for that matter in the normal course of getting on the train) they stop once they are on the train. It never seems to occur to them there might be people behind them trying to get on too.

Metro has gotten new cars. The area around the doors has been redesigned. Most of the poles have been taken out. The idea is to have people move to the center of the car. The problem is there is almost nothing to hang on to now around the doors. There are a couple of bars but they are near the ceiling and you have to be tall to reach them.

It is a good idea to get people to move into the cars. But here’s the problem that I have. I was going to get out of my seat and head towards the door because my stop was coming up. The train was moving. I stood up but realized there was no way I could walk over to the door because there wasn’t anything I could hold on to. So I just waited by my seat. Now the train was not all that crowded so I had no problem exiting. But, if the car is crowded, it would have taken me longer to get out. I could see this causing a delay when the Metro is busy.

Another thing on the Metro. I love when the doors open and the people on the platform try to get in the car before the people in the car have gotten out. One day a guy tried to do this and a lady no sir you can wait until we get off. She then forced the guy back onto the platform. I thought good for you.

One final observation and this happened just today. There was a woman with one a piece of luggage with wheels on it. She was pulling it behind her. In a matter of a few feet she banged it into one person and almost had another trip over it. The problem is people don't have a very good sense of just how much additional space the luggage takes up. So invariably they bump into people or move the luggage in such a way as to cause someone to trip over it.

In general the Metro is a wonderful thing. I'm on the Red Line. I have two stops that are about equal distant from my house. I can leave for work at 8 and get to work by 8:30. It can't get much better than that.

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