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Employee Volunteers to Help Metro Riders

In Metrorail stations, people were lined up at vending machines this weekend to buy fare cards. On the trains, knots of people puzzled over the maps while one in each group assumed the role of local expert and stated something about their route that was more or less correct.

Multiply those scenes by a thousand, and it gives us an idea what to expect on Tuesday. For all the planning the generals have done to prepare the inauguration invasion, success still will depend on the sergeants and the privates. In our case, they are the frontline workers in the Metro stations and on the streets.

Many of them were out this weekend, and from what I observed, they were very helpful to the out of towners and the locals who were puzzling over our transit system.

But it's also good to know from Metro that more than 300 of its employees have volunteered to help out on Inauguration Day to supplement the work of more than 8,000 employees on duty.

The volunteers, wearing bright yellow safety vests, will be serving as "Metro Ambassadors" for the day. They will greet people preparing to use the trains and buses, hand out maps, give directions, answer questions and help riders buy fare cards and passes. Metro prudently is equiping them with bullhorns.

By Robert Thomson  |  January 18, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Inauguration  
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