Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Plus for Metro But A Big Minus Too

I’m going to talk about the plus from Metro first. The plus is the ease of getting home from Nationals' games. I now know to enter the New Jersey Avenue entrance to the Navy Yard stop. There are way fewer people using that entrance. It also places you where the last car of the train going toward Gallery Place stops.

I wait for an eight car train. I never have any trouble getting on. In fact many times the car is hardly full at all. There are usually plenty of seats. And this with the platform full of people. There are Metro employees on the scene saying the train coming in is an eight car train and to move down the platform but people for some reason just don’t move. The car last night pulled into the station completely empty. Navy Yard was obviously its first stop.

It’s a quick and comfortable ride to Gallery Place where I transfer to the Red Line and head home.

Now the minus. This involves Gallery Place, last Sunday and the Nationals’ game. There was track work on the Red Line this past weekend. They were single tracking around Gallery Place. So trains were only running on one side of the platform. As in trains going in both directions were using the same platform.

I have no problem getting on at the Navy Yard. I get off at Gallery Place and head toward the side for Glenmont trains. Except you can’t get to the platform it’s been taped off. There is one sign that gives very vague directions as to what is going on. So I go over to the other side. I wait for the train going toward Glenmont. It turns out it just so happens to be the next train coming into the station. I get on.

Many people get on who don’t realize this train is not going toward Shady Grove. I tell a couple of people about to get on it’s not going in the direction they want. But they say this is the Shady Grove side. I say there’s track work this weekend and both trains are sharing the same track. The next train will be going in the direction they want to. Several people near me on the train hear this and get off the train. Now what’s wrong with this picture.

I will say the train operator did announced which direction the train was going in. But people don’t always listen to that especially when they think it is going in the direction they need to go.

What’s wrong with this picture. Why am I the person giving out this information to people on the platform. Where are the Metro employees during all of this. Well they are no where to be seen.

Why is it that information to help people get around the Metro system is always kept away from the people who need it the most: the riders.

I described what happened now I’m going to describe what should have happened.

When I got off the Green Line train from Navy Yard at Gallery Place I should have been told  by the operator of the train I was on that only one side of the platform was open. Also that all trains were running on one platform. At area taped off by Metro, there should have been several Metro employees saying to people that there was track work and that all trains were boarding from the other platform. On the platform in use, Metro employees should have been spaced along the platform telling people what was going on. When a trained pulled in Metro employees should have told which direction the train was going. There should also have been an announcement over the public address system letting people know the train now arriving is going in this direction.

Would people have still been confused? Yes, because some people only use the Metro to go to the ball game and for nothing else. But at least the information would have been out there and there would have been people to go to for help.

What does Sunday show about Metro? It reaffirms the complete and total contempt Metro has for its riders.

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