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What should Metro do next?

The transit authority board will be discussing the selection of an interim general manager, then a permanent general manager, then an operating budget with potential fare increases and service cuts, then a long-term plan for the transit system's maintenance and improvement.

It's all big stuff, but lay it aside for a moment. Rider to rider, tell me what one everyday thing you'd like to see the next general manager fix. I want to do a Commuter page feature in the Sunday Post about Metro's future, but I don't mean it to be about policy and finances, at least not directly.

I'd like to put the future of Metro in these terms: The next general manager should pick one thing, one very visible thing that vexes transit riders, and fix it. I'd like your ideas on what that one thing should be. The idea doesn't have to be grand. It might be limited to your train or bus or platform or parking spot. Here are a few that I'm considering, in no particular order of impact.

Unplug the Gallery Place platform. The crowding where the Red Line platform meets the mezzanine is a bit scary. The station's design doesn't fit the safety policy of stopping all trains at the front of the platforms. A wave of passengers from the Red Line train meets a wave of transferring passengers from the Yellow and Green lines at rush hour. People can't move.

Return to automatic train control. Our trains weren't built to run on manual for a long time. It slows down the whole system and creates more wear and tear on the trains -- and the passengers. The next general manager, maybe even the interim one, needs to figure out how to safely restore the automated system.

Make more eight-car trains. One of the ways that the transit authority sold the region on financing its capital plan, known as Metro Matters, was to promise that half the trains at rush hour would be eight cars long, if only we'd pay for enough rail cars. As riders and taxpayers, we did our part. Not only is the transit authority not running enough eight-car trains now, it's considering their complete elimination at rush hour.

Communicate better. This is a hardy perennial, isn't it? Metro did take steps to improve communications with riders, but it could do much better. It's something that should involve the Metro board, the senior staff, front-line supervisors, station managers, bus drivers and train operators. And it's not as much a question of money as it is of attitude. Tell us in a timely manner if there's a problem affecting our trip and what we might do about it. (My latest beef: During the snow days, Metro often waited too long to tell us about a major change in service.)

Fix Next Bus: I'm very glad we have this system that allows us to figure out when the next bus will arrive at our stops. It still doesn't work as well as it should. Too often, I hear from riders about ghost buses. Next Bus tells the riders that they'll be at their stop in a minute, but the bus never appears.

Ease parking problems. I just hate getting stuck at the parking exit behind someone who doesn't have a SmarTrip card to pay. By now, we should have a system that allows people to use the cards at all exits, not just a few scattered around the region. Because of the heavy demand for parking, Metro needs a "Next Space" system that can alert transit users to the availability of parking at their lot or garage. If their target parking area is full, they should be able to check what's available at nearby stations.

By Robert Thomson  |  February 17, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metrobus, Metrorail  
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Comments

Escalators - Find long-term corrections for the escalators that are almost always out of commission to correct the problem permanently (or at least for a longer time period) instead of merely patching it up temporarily so it does not break again so soon.

Posted by: rbg99 | February 17, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Outsource escalators maintenance and repairs. Hold the contractors responsible.

Posted by: support6 | February 17, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Please, please, please create another set of stairs/escalators to enable riders exiting trains at Shady Grove (esp. during evening rush) to use another means to leave the station platform. Given the throngs of people trying to get out in a hurry, frustration caused by the incredibly long lines just to get on the stairs or escalator (often a 10 min. wait at the rush hour peak, particularly as the escalator is frequently broken), and the people rushing past and running to catch a bus, it is truly only a matter of time until someone is seriously injured or even killed. This extremely dangerous situation has been a problem for the 10 years I have been riding Metro to and from Shady Grove, and although it has been studied and discussed from time to time, nothing ever seems to be done about it. With new development supposedly coming to the area around the station, the problem will continue to worsen.

Posted by: ambd0407 | February 17, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Rethink the bikes on rail policy. A blanket ban on rush hour trains is overly restrictive. Most reverse commute trains are empty. Target the lines and directions where crowding makes bikes infeasible, and open up others to more bike commuters.

Posted by: cranor | February 17, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: Escalator comments are very helpful. Fixing escalators has got to be on the list. On buses, I mentioned fixing Next Bus in my list, but I must be leaving out other things that the next general manager could set as a priority for improving Metrobus.

Posted by: Robert Thomson | February 17, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Improve timing off Metrobus by spreading bus stops out futher and creating more express routes. I'd love to see more express routes on the heavily traveled east-west routes in Montgomery and PG counties. I'm sure more express routes would be useful elsewhere too.

Posted by: UMDTerpsGirl | February 17, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I think the communication has gotten a lot better, or maybe I just get good train drivers. Credit Crad readers at all the parking exits would be a great idea. I'd love to see more staircases at stations, but I know that it a very heavy project to pull off even in better funding times.

Recyling bins outside the stations. A lot of people chuck bottles and cans in the parking lots, or just trash them on their way in. Why not a few bins to cut back on the piles of trash? They do it for newspapers.

Fix the trai nschdules. I realize that we're on manual control and that things happen, but there seem to be lots of random slowdowns and waits due ot scheduling problems. Sort that out. Shouldn't be that hard.

Posted by: EricS2 | February 17, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Ensure a culture of customer service. I.e., train operators that communicate (not yell at) passengers; metro staff on crowded platforms to assist with loading and unloading (so that doors don't become jammed and trains have to be offloaded); station managers that come out of their booths to actually help customers; etc...

Posted by: BrentwoodGuy | February 17, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I guess I'm just really lucky. I have never had a bad interaction with a single Metro employee. Bus drivers, train drivers, security, station managers, yard workers...all of them. I actualy just sent in a commendation recomendation to Metro for the employees who got me my transit benefit debit card back a few weeks ago.

Posted by: EricS2 | February 17, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Their Have been time's that senior citizen's and people with babies has to use the restroom and metro has refused to let them special in an emergency, and people have to use the restroom on themselves, this is a fact because this has happened to me, I am 65 and requested to use it, and was refused even when I said it was an emergency, they laughg and I messed on myself had to ride and talk the metro home in that condition.

Posted by: onesugar | February 17, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

-- The following is my comment sent into Metro/Dr Gridlock/and contact form I could find this morning: --
The over crowding at Red Line Gallery Place Chinatown is extremely dangerous. This morning the Bethesda bound side of the tracks was 100% full for over 5 trains (until I left going a different direction). There was one police officer trying to help.

You need to have a huge crowd control operation at Gallery Place to prevent overcrowding before you begin to kill your passages. (Similar to the show of force presence you had after the June accident.)

The situation is completely irresponsible - left as is you will have DEATHS due to your handing (ignoring) of this situation.

Posted by: iolaire | February 17, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Good job on that list, Dr. G. The media needs to hold Metro and other transportation agencies accountable, and call them out when they don't perform (Bob Marbourg did a great job last night, giving some rather harsh criticism to Maryland snow removal crews on NH Ave. that caused a huge backup during rush hour).

Here's my list:
1) Make an exception to the "Pull all the way to the front" policy for Shady Grove bound trains at Gallery Place and Union Station. Implement a zero tollerance policy for opening doors inside a tunnel.

2) Update train arival times displayed on the PIDs in the stations. It seems that a minute is no longer 60 seconds....sometimes it is as much as 75 or 80 seconds. If the trains are running slower now because of manual control, fine, but at least be honest about how far away the train is. If a train is at Union Station and I'm at Gallery Place, its nice that it used to take 4 minutes for the train to get to me, but if it takes 6 minutes now, the PID should say 6, not 4.

3) Publish a schedule and stick to it. For rush hours, we know trains come every 3 minutes or so and its not necessary. And its easy to get thrown off schedule. But for off-peak hours, especially in the late evening and on weekends when trains are 15 to 20 minutes apart, it would be helpful to know what times the trains will come to a particular station. Of course I can look it up in realtime if I happen to have a smart phone, but the PIDs aren't always accurate, and for some its easier just to pull a piece of paper out of your wallet.

Posted by: thetan | February 17, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

the remainder of my comment...had to post twice because of the size limit...

4) Escalators...fix them. When I go to Tysons Corner Center, I don't ever see escalators out. I don't see them under repair for months at a time. Why should Metro escalators be different? I can cut them some slack for the huge escalators, but they shouldn't constantly be broken.

5) Speaking of escalators, they need to have some kind of reminder that the rules are to stand right, walk left. We locals know the rules, but many from out of town do not. Saying, "Hi, Welcome to Metro. When using escalators, you may notice that people stand on the right." doesn't work. If Metro is concerned with liability, why not just post a sign that says "stand on the right", rather than "stand right, walk left". This way, they aren't encouraging people to walk, but are encouraging them to stand out of the way of those who choose to walk on their own.

6) Get a system up and running that gives Metrobuses priority at traffic signals. The signals are timed for cars, not buses. Far too often, I see a bus stop before a green signal, and just as it is pulling away the light turns red. Transit signal priority would either extend a green by a few seconds to let a bus get through, or give the green a few seconds early when a bus is waiting. This causes minimal impact to car traffic, but can have a huge benefit to transit operations. I've seen the simulation of the same road with and without transit signal priority implemented, and the results are dramatic.

7) Eliminate paper farecards. You can make disposable SmarTrip cards for dirt cheap nowadays. I rode on the transit system in Venice, Italy (imagine floating buses!), and they used this technology. The card was about the same size as a farecard, and maybe slightly thicker and coated with plastic to make it a little more durable. But it was still bendable. Regular commuters had real smart cards, but the paper ones were great for tourists and didn't cost a thing. And we had the benefit of being able to "tap" the card to validate it and board rather than the manual validation/boarding, which was a lot more user friendly. And I could re-charge it with more fares if I wanted to. Metro would increase the convenience to all users if it did this, speed up the faregates, and you wouldn't have so many issues at parking exits since you would simply tell tourists to make sure you have $4.75 on the same farecard you used to rude the train in order to exit the parking area.

Posted by: thetan | February 17, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

These would be useful service improvements, but the recent discussion in this forum and from Metro has been primarily about the coming budget cuts necessary to balance Metro's budget. Based on how Metro has performed recently, is it really reasonable to expect anything in the way of service improvements in the next few years? Maybe there should also be a discussion of which current Metro services that are proposed to be cut the new GM could take a stand to save.

Posted by: jmgg1 | February 17, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

My #1 point is financially unfeasible, but still important: More pocket tracks, especially on newly-constructed sections of track (Silver Line, for example). While a pocket track was the problem in last week's derailment, on the whole such tracks can be very useful in dealing with train breakdowns. Right now there simply aren't many places to stick broken-down trains--for example, the Red Line has pocket tracks at Grosvenor, Farragut North, and Silver Spring; the Orange Line has one at Stadium-Armory and also has that odd center track at the West Falls Church platform; and the Green Line has only the one pocket track north of Mount Vernon Square where they terminate Yellow Line trains during rush hour.

What all this means is that when a train breaks down, service delays ripple across the whole line (and often two lines, given the amount of shared trackage on the Metrorail system) because they can't simply shove the broken-down train out of the way on a pocket track to be retrieved later, say overnight when the system is closed. Instead they have to push or pull the train a long distance, often to the nearest storage yard.

I recognize the financial difficulty, if not impossibility, of constructing more pockets, but in terms of keeping service moving I think it would be a useful step, and it's far more realistic than fixing the much-lamented decision not to build express tracks (we're stuck with that one forever, folks).

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 17, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Another thought: Metro's "schematic" system map is sort of a tradition that they've taken from the London Underground, but it doesn't help the casual rider, or the tourist, to understand where the stops are. I think New York's map is far more useful in that respect. A map that's better-keyed to actual locations and to the streets might make it clearer to some riders that they can easily walk to other stops.

Example: If I were a Red Line rider going to Shady Grove after a Caps game, I'd walk the two or three blocks to Judiciary Square, get on BEFORE the crowds at Gallery Place such that I'd get a seat, and in the process avoid standing on line forever to enter the Gallery Place stop. Or if I were heading to, say, GW Hospital from Shady Grove I might get off at Farragut North or Dupont Circle and just walk the few extra blocks, rather than going all the way to Metro Center and coming back.

Many regular riders may know you can do these things fairly easily, but many, if not most, occasional riders don't know the stops are that close together. Finding a way to encourage people to use nearby stops when feasible strikes me as one way to reduce some of the crowding at certain stops.

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 17, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Increase service on the J2 to every 15 minutes to increase ridership in preparation for the Purple Line.

See the GGW article on Trunk line fixes.

Thank you Dr. Gridlock for the Nextbus priority. I wrote you about being left out in the cold on the J2 for two hours because Nextbus kept saying a bus was en route. Whoever manages Nextbus should be forced to stand outside in their skivies for two hours for that inconvenience.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | February 17, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Good for you for suggesting they fix Next Bus and improve communication! Last Friday and just yesterday residents looking the N2 on Cathedral Avenue were informed by Next Bus of the precise times they would arrive--and even that they WERE arriving--though no buses appeared. When we called Metro, various operators (a) insisted there was no problem with the N2, (b) said they were just running down Massachusetts, or (c) said Next Bus was accurate. None of the above was true!!

Posted by: DCResident10 | February 17, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Going back to automatic train control would be my top priority. That would be better for the trains and the passengers, would speed up the whole system, and would reduce crowding (which gets much worse when manually-operated trains bunch up). And I've never seen any solid explanation for why manual operation is any safer than automatic (every indication is that the Red Line accident would have happened exactly the same way if that train had been under manual control). Running the trains on manual may keep the union happy, and may make riders feel safer, but there's no evidence that it really is any safer.

Posted by: robwilli | February 17, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

As for other bus improvements, bunching is still a big problem that needs to be resolved. And I fully agree about Next Bus - I've only used it three times, but each time it was wrong, so I've given it up as an option.

This one is too specific, but reflects a larger issue: when there are long waits for buses it is super frustrating to see so many out of service buses driving up 14th street (the 50s line) to the bus barn. Why can't some of these buses service some of the many 50 line customers that needed to get further up 14th street? I waited for over an hour for a bus at Columbia Heights last Friday - at least 5 out of service buses passed us by. I understand that these buses can't service the entire line, but servicing the line to the end of their run at the bus barn (14th and Buchanan) would have been extremely helpful on an unusual night. One of the drivers drove by us laughing. Some flexibility on the part of metrobus, and a focus on getting customers moving, is sorely needed in the system.

Posted by: dchs | February 17, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Buses that arrive on time would be nice. For many routes the schedule is meaningless.

Posted by: PostReader43 | February 17, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the schematic maps...part of the problem is that Shady Grove and Rockville are shown the same distance apart as say, Metro Center and Gallery Place. The map is not anywhere close to scale.

Posted by: thetan | February 17, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I'd have to put automatic train control pretty high up on the list. The entire system should be retrofit with the latest technology in train control, eliminating the closets full of relays and associated maintenance and troubleshooting, while providing a more reliable, safer and smoother operation. On a related note, I sent this email to Metro about a month ago:

"As a daily rider from the Glenmont station, I have noticed that the train frequently stops when approaching the station from Glenmont. This past Friday, another passenger in my train car counted 19 stops before we finally arrived at Glenmont. A few months ago, I was on a train that attempted to move forward, but after at least 20 unsuccessful starts to move forward, the train had to be backed up to Wheaton. Numerous other times I have been on trains that start and stop seeming to have trouble getting going. While I understand that one or two stops may be necessary to allow a Shady Grove bound train to depart Glenmont, I can't understand why so much starting and stopping is necesary. Please explain to me what is causing this issue."

And got this response:

"Admittedly the quality of your ride can be affected by several factors including but not limited to the condition of the track, the rail car mechanical malfunction which requires the train to be operated in manual mode, and/or an inexperienced operator.

In the future please provide us with a number of the car you were in and the direction it was heading, so appropriate action can be taken."

Anybody know what causes this problem?

Posted by: MikePoz | February 17, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

The system that guides you to parking spaces at BWI is AWESOME. Maybe Metro could look into something similar...

Posted by: ValleyCaps | February 17, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

From Dr. Gridlock: Thanks for all these good comments. I figure that when I compile your thoughts and mine about actual, rider-friendly things we want done, I'm not going to worry about how easily they could be done, or about how much they might cost. I think we should have at least one shot at just saying, "Here's what we want."

Posted by: Dr_Gridlock | February 17, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

In light of budget cuts, it is hard to imagine they can fix much, but I know that my day is often brighter when I have a driver that speaks clearly and have had some that request people hold children's hands on the platform and are clearly safety conscience, etc. If Metro leadership introduced a bonus system where riders can provide positive feedback on drivers and those on the platform, performance could improve. Financial incentives like that do not have to cost a lot, but could improve riders feelings about Metro significantly. Other than that one word, escalators, they are pathetic.

Posted by: nyoder | February 17, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Fix the Shady Grove Station exit! As you may know, the exit stairs and escalator from the platform down are totally inadequate during evening rush hour. There are often huge lines of people pressing to get out like it's a Redskins game at RFK. It seems like a fire hazard to me. I wrote Metro about this in July and they said they are aware of the problem and have multiple solutions derived from the Shady Grove Station Access Improvement Study (which they sent me) but need to find the money (up to $30m, depending on which option is selected.)

Posted by: jmrzx | February 17, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

After having three asses in my face on the ride in this morning, I'd have to say the occassional eight car train might be nice.

Posted by: member5 | February 17, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Gridlock,
You asked for a specifc wish. My personal one wuld be to get the H1 buses to run on schedule. And for local gov'ts and Metro to find a way to liberate access to buses across a 3 foot mound of ice and five feet of acreage to reach the door.

More generally, on communication: Metro needs not only to inform the public, they need to inform their own employees. On Friday, Feb 12, none of the three bus lines I use were listed as in operation on WMATA at 0600. I heard and saw a 42 from my window 15 minutes later, so decided to take a chance. The first 42 bus driver assured me all buses were running, so I thought I'd wait for an H1. 15 minutes later, a 42 bus driver said he didn't know what was running, so I hopped on to go to a stop with more routes. 35 minutes later an L1 showed up. Again, the driver did not know what was running or not.

In using metrobuses since 1980 I have encountered only one rude bus driver. So it's not customer service at the micro level - it's information sharing at the corporate level which needs fixing. And that is precisely where the next GM can set the tone and enforce the policy.

As to escalators: yes, the outages are a disgrace. But in spite of all the indignant posters who claim it's easier to walk down than up, it isn't. Escalator step rises are not made for walking. When I walk up and get winded, people understand and go around me with no muttering. When I walk down, at Dupont for example, and my short, out of shape legs start giving out, I get no collective forgiveness. So if one escalator can work, please make it go down. People with knee problems will also thank you.

And if I were king (queen, really) I would insist that all Metro management and Board use the system for at least one continuous month three times a year, for all their transportation needs, so they can experience the rain, wind, and fire (either sun in August or fire in Mt Pleasant); trudge their toddler or groceries on the bus; wish they'd gone to the bathroom after all before departing home or office and then wait two of four times as long as expected; attempt to load their smartrip card when the system is down; or try to find parking when "it's more convenient" to drive.

Thank you for your forum.

Posted by: busgirl1 | February 17, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Metro need to create a cell phone app for blackberry, i phone, andorid and web os so riders can access information instantly instead of being bothered with cumbersome webpages.

Posted by: litechocolate | February 17, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

better signage for the throngs of tourists, including ones that say "walk left, stand right" on/near escalators

Posted by: observer58 | February 17, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Close budget gap by imposing large fines on people who stand on the left of escalators. ;)

Posted by: DOEJN | February 17, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Honor your agreed upon arbitration that cost quite a bit of money to proceed with only for WMATA to refuse to follow through. And, maybe go a year without killing any employees.

Posted by: mackmarks | February 17, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

LET THERE BE LIGHT!!

Better lighting in all the stations could go a longer way than the silver line. Just think, you could see the edge of the escalator step! No more leaning over the edge of the platform barrier to read the Express! Not to mention a little more safety for everyone.

These gray winters of Washington don't help with good will towards our fellow passengers. METRO: don't make us SAD!

Posted by: postposter83 | February 17, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Their Have been time's that senior citizen's and people with babies has to use the restroom and metro has refused to let them special in an emergency, and people have to use the restroom on themselves, this is a fact because this has happened to me, I am 65 and requested to use it, and was refused even when I said it was an emergency, they laughg and I messed on myself had to ride and talk the metro home in that condition.

Posted by: onesugar |
-------------------------------

That is unacceptable. I am so sorry that happened.

Posted by: DOEJN | February 17, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

These aren’t the most important things - but the big ones (safety – let’s not kill or injure people, reliability – show up on time, longer/more frequent trains – have enough trains to handle the crowd, and charge a reasonable fair for reasonable service) have been covered so I'll go with the lesser "nuisance" issues. First, I'd like more benches at the stations. the number of places to sit is sparse at best. during rush hour, I don't need to sit, but off-peak hours when a train can be 15-20 minutes away - I'd like to have a place to sit other than the floor - have you looked at what's on the floor at mid-night. Second, as noted by another poster, the PIDs are rarely accurate. The one's at West Hyattsville OVERESTIMATE the time between trains (telling me I have 4 minutes when I really have 65 seconds). I'd move faster is I knew I only had a minute. Four minutes and I take my time getting to the platform. Third, the smart card readers often don’t work. It’s not a problem with my card as I can go to one to the left or right and it works just fine. I was told once that it was about fine-tuning the readers – well then fine-tune them please. Fourth, who thought those slippery little pentagon shaped tiles were a good idea? When it rains or snows, forget it. How about something on the floor to prevent people from slipping? Fifth, can the blinking lights be cleaned every now and then. Sixth – provide wireless service to everyone.

Posted by: sbgmk | February 17, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

How about working to max out advertising revenue? Nearly 800k people use the Metro network on an average work day (look at Metro's figures about the drop in ridership before the first snowstorm on Feb 5)-- you'd think someone would be willing to pay money to have their product/service seen by a lot of people. I'd rather every square inch of the stations and buses be covered in advertising than pay more for such crappy service. Other major cities do it (London, Budapest, Prague, Krakow, Montreal)-- why not us?

Posted by: padnactap92 | February 17, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

People associate metro ads with lurching, vomiting, and molestation. It's the wrong environment for advertising.

Posted by: fireball72 | February 17, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

One more that I forgot and was reminded of on my ride home. Please instal signs on the trains that read something to the effect of "You are only entitled to one seat. If the train is crowded please keep your belongings on your lap". who are these people who show up with two purses, a backback, three shopping bags and a suitcase during morning rush hour and then think that they deserve two seats on a packed train just because they brought more junk than I did. I will not stand while your purse gets a seat all to itself. while this is a customer courtesy issue and not the fault of metro, a sign may help. It may not but if it can free up just one seat during rush hour then it has done its job.

Posted by: sbgmk | February 17, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Yes... why do people take up two seats when others are standing?!

Posted by: DOEJN | February 17, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

These don't belong at the top of the list, but I think they would be helpful long term ideas:

1. Split the 10A/B lines into three separate lines:
Braddock/Pentagon
Braddock/Ballston
Braddock/Hunting Towers
The 10s currently get knocked off of schedule so quickly it is ridiculous. Most customers get off at Braddock anyway. What is the benefit of extending the routes?

2. Add a stop at Potomac Yard. There is plenty of land, the population density in the area is increasing, and the gap between Crystal City and Braddock Rd. is too much.

3. Come up with a plan for creating Metro service for Ft. Belvoir. With the BRAC, there just aren't enough roads serving Ft. Belvoir and REX doesn't cut it.

Posted by: slar | February 17, 2010 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Probably too late, but:

Communication overload. I used to get their tweets, but lately there have been so many that I had to just turn it off. There has to be a better way.

Posted by: dkf747 | February 18, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

You people seriously think a sign is going to stop a seat hog?

Sit on their bags.

Posted by: member5 | February 18, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

For once I agree with "member5." Ask politely that they move the bag, then if they decline, say, "If you don't move the bag, then I will sit on it." And follow up on the threat. Just be prepared to defend yourself in a fight if needed.

Now, if you don't ask someone to move the bag, or to allow you to have access to the inside seat, then it's your own darn fault. I always sit on the aisle seat if I have to take one of the seats facing the front or back of the train, simply because I'm tall and there is not enough legroom on the inside seat. I'm happy to stand up to let someone gain access to the window seat, but if you don't ask, I won't know whether you want to sit there.

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 18, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

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