Metro officials have said the transit system needs $1.5 billion in the next six years to buy rail cars and buses and to rehabilitate stations and equipment. So far, none of the local jurisdictions that fund Metro or the federal government has agreed to pay those costs.Or not.
Meanwhile, here's a funny phone conversation I overheard last night on Metro rail:
"We have to get out of D.C. I can't stand the inefficiency. Yeah. This is ridiculous. I'll see you in 45 minutes. Bye. [hangs up angrily]"This perturbed young woman got off at Metro Center, probably to get on the Red Line for some far-flung Maryland destination. And I'm with you, angry girl, because it really is annoying how slow the trains are at night. We were at the D.C. United-Nottingham Forest match last night at RFK Stadium (good game, BTW; it's no baseball, but still fun). We got to the station at about 9:45 and waited 20 minutes for the Orange train to show up. We finally got to our home station, Court House, at 10:40. So that's about 55 minutes of travel time to go 7.3 miles. I happen to know that I can bike that distance in less time. Granted, at that time of night there's a chance I would wind up tangled in the bumper of some stolen van careening down Constitution Ave. But taking 55 minutes to go seven miles is not "rapid transit." It's "slow-ass transit."
At least they got rid of the failed two-car train experiment on weekday nights. But if they want people to ride the train at night, they're going to have to make it more convenient than bicycling.