Riding on Red: A Metro Update
While riding all the Metro lines over the past two days to get those station temperature readings, I had a chance to make these general observations about the state of rail service:
-- While you may have a slow trip on any line, the Red Line is still the most consistently troubled. Riders on the Orange Line today have been caught up in a slowdown because a train struck and killed a man late this morning at West Falls Church. (See story by James Hohmann.) Or the trains might be slowed as Metro checks the condition of a track circuit. (See the current list here.) But Red Line trips are consistently problematic because the trains go one at a time through the June 22 crash zone between Takoma and Fort Totten. That disrupts the entire line.
-- More and more people are getting the idea that the trains stop at the front of the platforms. But the last two cars of six-car trains still tend to be jammed while the last two cars of an eight-car train offer the best bet for a seat.
-- Bad as the crowding might be, vacation season seems to be helping ease things.
-- The most immediate self-help in combating a bad ride is to try different things, from trip to trip and day to day.
-- If you're in a hot car, you'll know it right away, so don't torture yourself: Move to another car at the next stop.
-- Pay attention to the train arrival signs on the platforms. If an eight-car train is approaching, move toward the back end of the platform. If it's a six-car train, the front end of the platform is still the best bet, though not as much as it was a couple of weeks ago. If the sign says a couple of rush-hour trains are approaching close together and you see the first one is crowded, don't hurl yourself into the mosh pit. The next train is likely to be a lot less crowded.
-- The transit authority is starting to get this communication thing. I heard an announcement that began, "Due to the track circuit repair work ... " That's the most specific and accurate description that I've heard about the cause of current problems. Also, you can now see Metro ads in the stations that highlight where the trains stop and what you should do. ("Don't let a 6-car train pass you by," they say.) And I saw a Metro employee on a platform taking a properly active role in getting people to board a car: "Step in, step in, step all the way in," he intoned for all to hear.
-- Don't be lulled by one normal trip on the Red Line. The next one may be very different. That's why Metro still is telling Red Line riders to add an extra half hour to normal travel times.
August 12, 2009; 1:41 PM ET
Categories: Metro , transit | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrorail delays, Red Line crash
Save & Share: Previous: Orange Line Service Resumes After Person Struck
Next: Traffic Changes Made on Route 7 in Tysons Corner
Posted by: RedBirdie | August 12, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rtthomson1 | August 12, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: EtoilePB | August 12, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Janine1 | August 13, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: ShepCWillner | August 13, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DellC | August 13, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kickabout | August 13, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: fedssocr | August 13, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: djones13 | August 14, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.