Metro Board to Consider Food Vendor Proposal
Dear Dr. Gridlock:
I use the Metro system often, boarding at the Silver Spring Station. It has become more and more obvious that the "no food/drink" policy is being ignored. Riders of all ages routinely board the Metro carrying food and drink.
And while not all eat or drink while riding, I have witnessed at least one person doing so every time I have been on the Metro this year. Wrappers, gum on the floors/carpets, and stains attest to the disregard of the policy and fellow passengers. To make things worse, the free newspapers available at the stations add to the mess. Food vendors at the Metro stations? No!
Paul H. Parent
I'm no fan of eating and drinking on the trains. (Reading is okay, as long as people take the papers with them.) But I think it's possible we have our cake and not eat it till we get home. Perhaps the vendors' exact location and the type of food sold could be written into the contract so as to discourage taking food onto the trains. Combine that with stepped up enforcement, along with more visible warning signs, and you might have a formula that could work.
Here's one writer who thinks we could find a way.
Dear Dr. Gridlock:
What's all the fuss about eating and drinking on Metro? I've lived in other cities where eating and drinking are allowed on the trains and it's really not a big deal. That said, since there seems to be a strong feeling among most Metro users that it should not be allowed, so be it.
Nevertheless, the vendor plan is a great idea. Metro clearly needs to look at more ways to raise revenue to keep the system up and running without raising fares. I live at Crystal City where I pass a Dunkin' Donuts that is probably only 200 feet from the Farecard machines, yet people do not bring their coffee and donuts into the station. Instead, people buy these things on the way out of the station.
I love the convenience of being able to drop off my dry cleaning, pick up a gallon of milk, and even buy things for dinner all within a few hundred yards of getting off the train. Surely people living or working at stations where these amenities do not already exist would appreciate them, and Metro could make some money in the process.
On Thursday morning, the transit authority staff will ask the board of directors for approval to initiate a Retail Services Demonstration Program at a dozen stations. Many riders like the idea of allowing retail sales at stations, so Metro can make some money. The controversy is over the food part. The proposal would allow:
-- Fixed retail services locations and structures that sell food items packaged
to discourage consumption in the Metrorail system.
-- Mobile retail vehicles that sell food items packaged to discourage consumption in the Metrorail system, such as take-home dinners.
See the full proposal here.
In a report scheduled for delivery to the board Thursday, Riders' Advisory Council Chair Diana Zinkl writes this about the RAC view on the food vendor issue: "Members were concerned that selling food or beverages would send riders a mixed message about eating and drinking in the system. One of the comments that I have received on several occasions from riders who have experienced other rail systems is high satisfaction with the clean, pest-free environment of our Metrorail stations.
"Members acknowledged that riders would patronize food vendors when exiting as well as entering stations, and that signage and rider education could help address confusion
about 'eating and riding,' as well as possibly limiting food sales to packaged foods or to exterior locations."
The board should approve the experiment, but it should set conditions regarding enforcement of the rules. Riders are clearly concerned about the increase in eating and drinking and trash aboard trains. The vendor proposal provides an opportunity to address their concerns.
May 27, 2009; 9:55 AM ET
Categories: Metro , transit
Save & Share: Previous: Traffic Alert: The Ramp From I-495 SB to I-66 W Closed
Next: Metro Posting Signs For 'Next Bus' Return
Posted by: bdk64 | May 27, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DupontJay | May 27, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ddowhan | May 27, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dem4life1 | May 27, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: sigmagrrl | May 27, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: GlenBurnie | May 27, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pspox | May 27, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | May 27, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Max231 | May 27, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 27, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: cprferry | May 27, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.