Thursday, June 25, 2009

More thoughts on the Metro

I think all things considered Metro handled the accident on Monday fairly well.

The problem with Metro has always been their inability to get information out to people in a timely manner. They still need to improve things.

Something I noticed on Monday is that when you are sitting in a car at a station with the train doors open, you don’t hear any of the announcements that are being made in the station. I think the train operator needs to relay that information to the people in the cars. Also get the speakers in the cars and in the stations to work properly. Pump up the volume so people can hear what is being said. People making the announcements need to speak loudly, clearly and slowly so everyone can not only hear what is being said but understand what is being said. This is especially true in an emergency situation.

It was only when we came out from being under ground after Union Station that we learned about the crash. I think Metro needed to say to people there’s a major problem at Takoma. Maybe saying there’s been an accident involving two trains and there are injuries. This would have shown the seriousness of the situation. It wasn’t necessary to let people know there were fatalities.

Now to switch gears a bit. I have some comments on the coverage on television. It seemed to take a very long time to get the information out that these were inbound trains. I will say even Metro had a problem with this. But this should have been determined as soon as possible. It would have reassured a great many people. It being rush hour the bast majority of people are traveling out of the city not into it as these trains were. If this had been two out bound train the numbers of dead and wounded would have been much higher.

Another thing the stations couldn’t seem to get right is the difference between a train and a car. This happened on several stations. At one point a reporter was talking about people in the third train when he meant the third car. There is a huge difference. They needed to get this right or to have someone correct them but that didn’t happen.

As always seems to be the case these days on any major event, when there is no new video, you keep seeing the same stuff over and over and over and over again. There should be some sort of a rule that if you’ve run video more than say six times in an hour give it a rest.

My favorite line well we shouldn’t speculate but what the hell let’s do it any way. There is a difference between speculating and presenting probably reasons for the accident. Or giving a history of what’s happened in the past.

The saddest part of course is that fact that nine people died. The most important thing now is to make sure this type of an accident never happens again.

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