Metro Communications and More
Metro riders will be interested in today's story by Lena H. Sun and Jonathan Mummolo about the transit authority's plan to provide more information and coordination during service disruptions.
Here's the key paragraph, the statement I think will ring true to many riders:
"The communication problems trace to nearly every aspect of how Metro operates. Some are technical and require more money and new procedures; others could be fixed with little more than handing out dry-erase boards. The most basic could be fixed with dedication to old-fashioned customer service."
On Metro's side: It's a big, complex system and things are bound to go wrong. Because things go right most of the time, hundreds of thousands of people rely on the transit system to get to and from work each day.
On the other hand: When something goes wrong, nobody seems to know anything for at least the first 20 minutes. People arriving at stations have no way of knowing there's a problem on the line. Passengers on the trains and platforms either aren't told anything or get inaccurate or out of date information. Metro employees focus on fixing the problem, but don't tell people why they're being kicked off the trains or what to do next.
Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. wants to fix this and has made it a priority. We can only wish him well. But as Metro board member Chris Zimmerman of Arlington pointed out at last week's board meeting, "We've had this same conversation ... quite a few times."
We can talk about this and any other transportation issue that's on your mind during an online discussion today at 1 p.m. In case you'd like to submit a question or comment beforehand, here's a link that allows you to do that.
Some Travel Advisories
Capital Beltway, inner loop: The right lane of the inner loop at Branch Avenue is blocked from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Capital Beltway, outer loop: The left lane from Telegraph Road to Route 1 will be closed for paving between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.
Rockville Pike: The center lane where the pike crosses over the Beltway's outer loop is closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Friday. (Here's a link that will show you all the scheduled work on the Wilson Bridge project for this week.)
14th Street Bridge: The District is doing overnight work to improve the bridge signs. From 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., the HOV lanes outbound and the HOV ramp from the HOV to 395 inbound lanes will be closed. That work zone is scheduled to be active through Thursday night.
I-66, Gainesville: The right eastbound lane between mile markers 42 and 44 will be closed from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. today through Friday. Westbound, watch for right or left lane closures in the same area today through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. On Route 29 northbound between Route 55 and University Boulevard, the right or left lanes may be closed today through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (You can find out more details abou the widening project by using this link.)
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