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On the Wrong Track

By Mike McPhate  |  February 19, 2009; 11:35 PM ET
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All of the above.

It doesn't reach to downtown Gaithersburg (though a right of way exists).

Instead of livable communtities on the property surrounding Shady Grove with mixed use and high density condos/apartments they have parking garages and urban wasteland.

It's overcrowded.

It's frequently delayed.

It's expensive in comparison to NY, Boston, or even MARC rail.

And 15 minutes between trains after rush hour is a ludicrous time to wait. It's Washington DC, the capital of the World for some intents and purposes...we the local citizenry deserve better, but so does the rest of America.

Metro should be setting an example for transit systems worldwide. Unfortunately, it does, as what should and could be done better.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | February 20, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Those worthless day passes become demagnetized all the time. This has never happened to me once in NY where I used to be a regular rider. Here, almost every pass has to be turned in for a new one.

Posted by: trk113 | February 20, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Why there isn't a flat rate month or year pass really annoys me. The London Underground offers the same day and reloadable passes that we do, but they also offer for the really frequent riders a flat rate weekly or monthly pass. They are more expensive than what an average rider would spend on the metro, but they save the frequent riders a little money and a lot of stress in continuously having to reload their cards. In London you could get a montly pass for 80 pounds which equals about $160 and it allows the holder to ride as often as they want. WMATA could easily charge $200 for a montly pass and this would increase the number of riders and make money off the people who might not use $200 worth of rides in a given month.

Posted by: sooner31 | February 20, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

sooner31: Um...there are weekly and monthly passes. You can get them in most grocery stores, at the Metro shops, and I think even online.


Yeah, all of the above. Another problem with Metro, is the surrounding area. You can't get very far out of the city and have reliable service on a regular basis. Go just a little beyond the Beltway in either Maryland or Virginia, and you're lucky if buses run on the weekend, or after rush hour on weeknights. If you work a swing shift, or have friends without cars who want to visit you during odd times, you're out of luck. We didn't move into an apartment in Greenbelt, just for that reason...not enough Metro or other bus service on off hours.

Posted by: akchild | February 20, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Living in Northern Virgina (Arlington)the buses come every 30 minutes. That is a long time between buses. Also the routes are long. I have been taking Metro off and on all my life. I have lived in Arlington all my life 40+ years and it has been the same all of that time. Now Metro is talking about cutting routes and metro stops but at the same time thinking about adding a metro station in Alexandria. I do not get the logic of metro's financial management.

Posted by: rkw2102 | February 20, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Metro is the worst. They should shut it down and turn it all into parking garages. During non rush hour it takes 40 minutes to get from Arlington to the Verizon center and that's if you're lucky. 5 miles in 40 minutes? I'd rather not. Metro also has zero reach and is expensive. During the inauguration they originally refused to run later hours but constantly beg for money. Metro is the garbage. I'd rather walk. Driving is 100% faster. Don't beg for money, run a better service and get more riders. You'd have more money if you didn't run a crap business. Why ride when it’s cheaper AND faster just to drive?

Posted by: KCW123 | February 20, 2009 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The metro is filthy. The cars with carpets are the worst. It's like stepping into a hotbox of germs and dirt. Ugh!

Posted by: mallorygrauer | February 20, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

There are a couple of problems I would like to share.

1. Metro's lack of effective communication, and it's public face.

2. Public face.

I understand that delays and other emergency issues will face a major transportation provider, but for some reason Metro has a huge problem conveying what those issues are. Just let us your customer know in plain language what is going on.

As for the Metro's public face; there's a major problem with how people viewed it's employees and that is something that Metro can address. How many times do I need to see 5-6 individuals standing outside the staff booth at Largo Station during evening rush hour. Also, how effective and safe is it to have 2 individuals in the rail operator's car while the train is making a run? For some reason, I have noticed on several ocassions on Saturdays where I can hear 2 individuals laughing, etc., during my ride to McPherson Square. I know that some rail/bus operators catch rides, but it's very unprofessional to have to see and listen to this type of behavior.

Posted by: jackstyle | February 20, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

My issue has to do with the riders, particularly on the Orange line. I have never seen as a whole, such rude, selfish and ignorant men. The majority will not offer their seats to older women and have in the past almost knocked over females, trying to get to an open seat before them. Oddly this does not seem to be a problem on any of the other lines.

Posted by: onlongpond | February 20, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

What really bothers me is the sense of entitlement older woman have for my seat, especially on the Orange Line. Like my back isn't aching from a long day of sitting on my duff already...but now some crazy old bat wants me to stand for 45 minutes?

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | February 20, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

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