Metro opens doors... when they're working

Mala rants:

So the Metro fares were raised by $.10. They've also increased the hours of service and keep talking about expanding the routes.

Too bad they can't get what they've got to work properly. Twice this week I had 3 employees come in late because of issues on the orange line (passenger getting sick and then Metro telling everyone to deboard the train, creating a HUGE traffic backup). Who pays for that? My company does in lost wages.

And now let's get to the escalators. WHAT is up with that? Two of the Metro Center exits NEVER have down escalators. NEVER! Once in a blue moon they all work. Same with Dupont Circle and Woodley Park. There's always one that doesn't work.

I would prefer to pay $2 - a nice even number, not like this $1.20 BS - each way and have them invest in equipment that works.

I'm going to start a letter/email writing campaign to metro. I'm a tax paying citizen with no kids, no car - the least they can do is make sure my public transportation is working properly.

Sorry for the rant. It's enough to drive a person crazy!
There's no need to apologize to me, of all people, for ranting.

I've had plenty of issues with Metro; my wife says it's bad luck, but I don't know. I haven't even told the story of my run-in with the station manager at Smithsonian station.

Well, let's tell it now. This was December 2001. The printer on one of the exit turnstiles wasn't working, so when I ran my card through it, it came out blank. I asked the manager what's the deal with that. He responded by running it through the turnstile again... which charged me an additional $1.10. This was a couple months after being ripped off by our movers to the tune of $1,750, so I really wasn't in the mood to get ripped off any more.

When I confronted him about it, he became angry that I was "disrespecting" him, and ran the card through his computer to demagnitize it, rendering it useless. There was $7.70 left on the card, which he informed me I could get back by going to Metro Center for a refund.

Not good times. Bad times.

Anyway, Metro's escalators and elevators are always broken because they refuse to hire outside contractors to do the work. Instead, Metro insists on training its own people to do maintenance. Predictably, these people are fiercely incompetent. Like Mala said, there's always at least one escaltor broken at every station, and I often see stories about people getting stuck in Metro elevators and having to call the fire department.

I don't know what you're supposed to do if you're in a wheelchair. Last year, there was a story about a handicapped guy going to a play via Metro. He called the elevator hotline ahead of time, which said the elevators at Metro Center were working. When he arrived there, they were predictably not working. This guy was livid that he was going to miss the show, and when he saw a Metro employee standing across the way on the opposite platform, he started cursing loudly at this person. Metro WROTE HIM A CITATION for the profanity.

That's more than bad luck. That's just bad. After it caused a public uproar, Metro dropped the citation.

Thanks to Mala also for this link, which highlights yet another Metro ordeal of Griswoldian proportions.

As for starting a letter-writing campaign... good luck. I'd obviously be pessimistic about getting results (heh, DC Metro Action I am not).

UPDATE: "Classic" why.i.hate.dc: my most recent bad experience with Metro. I'm sure there will be more.

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