Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Ever Unreliable Weekend "Service" from Metro

The Post had an article recently on the state of Metro as perceived by the riders and the management.

This sums it up:
Here’s where we get to an underlying issue involving how Metro perceives Metro’s problems and the tasks ahead.

Metro officials tend to describe a rail system that is recovering after years of inadequate investment in equipment and safety.

“The goal is that by 2017, we will have caught up with the backlog” interim general manager Jack Requa said of Metro’s $5.5 billion rebuilding program.

Many Metro riders describe a system that is broken, after years of official statements about new programs meant to ensure safety and reliable service.

“Something is not right,” said Korman, who described himself as a daily Metro rider. “Anecdotally, there’s a problem on an almost daily basis.”

Statistically, things don’t look any better to Korman. Pointing to Metro’s quarterly reports on performance, he said, “WMATA’s own numbers show a system that is not improving. This treading water is occurring after years of investment.”
What occurred to me on my way home sort of sums up the two worlds. The first is the Metro world and the other is the riders of what I'd like to call the real world.

I went to Metro Center after seeing Mr. Holmes (which was very good; more on it later) to go home. As with just about every weekend there was track work as Metro is rebuilding the system. I'm never sure what they are rebuilding since nothing seems to change all that much.

The next train sign stated the lines that were being worked on for the weekend and the time between trains. For the Red Line, it said trains were operating every 16 minutes. The problem is that that was not the case at all. When the next train was finally listed it said it would be arriving in 18 minutes. Not the 16 promised in the announcement.

I decided to time how long it took for the train to arrive. It was a little over 19 and a half minutes. I figured I was in the station for at least 5 minutes before that. Instead of waiting for 16 minutes for a train, I waited for at least 25 minutes.

This just reinforces how unreliable weekend "service" on Metro is.

Maybe at some point weekend service interruptions will end. But that day is a long way off. In the meantime, Metro needs to let people know when to really expect trains to arrive at stations. But it seems it can't even do that.

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