Sunday, July 12, 2009

More On Metro

Here some additional news about the Red Line:

Metro's Red Line riders aren't likely to get relief from what has become a painful commute anytime soon. The transit agency is planning to begin a major overhaul of the line in early 2010 that will last years.

The first phase will focus on the area of track between the Dupont Circle and Silver Spring stations and will take 48 months to complete, said Metro spokeswoman Taryn McNeil.

I can hardly wait well actually that's exactly what I will be doing is waiting. The work will be done after 8 pm during the week. It will be interesting to see what happens to ridership.

Maybe Metro will finally learn to communicate properly with its passengers. I don't hold out much hope on that.

A perfect example is what happened last Tuesday. There was of course some sort of delay. Several trains pulled into Metro Center and were jammed full of people. Finally it looked like things were starting to get less crowded when the following.

First a little set up. There's an electronic sign on each side of the platform that says the number of cars in the train, the train's destination and how many minutes before it pulls into the station.

The first train listed on the sign stated it was an eight car train. People spread out along the platform to be able to board all of the cars. When the train pulled in, it was in fact a six car train instead. So people who had spread out to the end of the platform had to run to try and get on the train.

Needless to say not many people got on. The next train was listed as a six car train. So people did not spread out along the platform. When this train pulled into the station it was an eight car train. Because of where the escalator is at Metro Center, few people were able to get down the platform and get on the last two cars. When the train pulled out there were seats available in those two cars. Where as other cars on the train were packed. My guess is, at the very minimum, 50 more people could have gotten on the last two cars.

And that is Metro's problem in a nutshell. It never seems to able to give proper information to its riders. And somehow I hold out little hope during the upcoming upgrade of the Red Line.

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