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Posted at 7:59 AM ET, 03/17/2010

One thing Metro could get right

By editors

By Stanley M. Besen
Chevy Chase

I realize that Metro is having difficulty: (a) getting trains to stop within a station; (b) having escalators and elevators in operation on a regular basis; (c) opening train doors on the same side as the platform; and (d) keeping train cars on the rails; to say nothing of (e) preventing fatal accidents. But it would seem that it could at least enforce the rule against eating and drinking on trains and in stations.

I used to think that the failure to enforce this rule meant that attention was being paid to more important things, but I no longer believe that. It would be easy to improve service by stopping the many riders who enter the system each day carrying coffee or other refreshments. (I once asked a Metro official during “meet the managers day” about the failure to enforce the rule. He told me that Metro staffers were “doing their best” as someone with a coffee cup walked right past us at Metro Center.)

Given Metro’s past performance, I am afraid that it will take an accident in which hot coffee is spilled on passengers on a crowded train before this gets any attention.

By editors  | March 17, 2010; 7:59 AM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Metro  
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Unfortunately, the rules allow people to carry on items. They're just not supposed to consume them. Of course, in reality this never works. I want to smack people upside the head with my umbrella every time I see them eating or drinking on the train or bus. At the very least, I have the urge to walk over to the "Unlawful to do..." this sign, and announce in a loud voice. "Gee, it seems to be illegal to consume drinks and food here. Maybe we shouldn't do it."

The next difficult problem is people who have their music players too loud, and those who feel the need to test their cell phone ring tones. Both of these things are very annoying.

And why isn't there a rule against PDAs???? I do NOT want to see other people snogging on the Metro, thank you.

Oh, oh...since I'm complaining like the old man next door, I also want the Metro station operators to do something...yell at, take names and call parents, kick out of the station, whatever...about the NOISEY children who think it's fun to shove each other and run around on the platform, while shrieking in decibles close to sounds only dogs can hear. These people are dangerous to themselves, others, and very, very annoying.

Posted by: akchild | March 17, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I understand the need for (and I follow) rules against food/beverages on the Metro, and I agree that they could be better-enforced, but I am always puzzled by people who feel the need to take time out of their day to glower and grumble at others for not being as uptight as they believe others should be (*koff* - akchild - *koff, koff*).

Seriously: announcing the rules in a loud voice? How passive-aggresive is that? Remove the corncob 'mkay?

Posted by: drewdane | March 17, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

The Metro has always been a fairly self-regulating community, probably b/c of the lack of Metro supervision. I think if there was more enforcement of the rules and norms (like more Metro cops on the trains), people like akchild wouldn't feel the need to speak up.

Posted by: j-man1 | March 17, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, what I really want to do is grab the offender, smash their head against the rules sign, and make it clear they're not following the rules. But, I suppose I would be the bad guy if I did that. Everyone is just lucky I have enough self-control to keep to myself. It's the job of the Metro employees to enforce the rules, not me. They need to do their job. And I'm quite happy with my corncob, thanks.

Posted by: akchild | March 18, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

I doubt Metro will enforce any rules at all-- especially seeing how their employees illegally park and take up spaces at Rhode Island Avenue Station everyday--- I mean, I have to pay to park, so should they.

Posted by: Aimhigh2000 | March 18, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

The fact that you actually felt compelled to inquire about this with a metro employee tells me you have too much time on your hands and/or you're a curmudgeon who shakes his fists in the air at the most trivial things

Posted by: claudiahowardfha | March 18, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Why not establish a Wall of Shame? Take a picture of each offender, and post them to the Wall. Metro PD could also post pictures of the few they bother to arrest.

Posted by: j_oper | March 19, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I regularly eat and drink on the Metro and on RideOn/Metrobuses. If you ask me it should be allowed everywhere.

I have never been spoken to by other riders or by employees. It is an unenforced rule

Posted by: louarmstrong | March 21, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Why should I have to eat my burrito sitting at Chipotle when I can eat it on the bus ride home? My time is valuable!

Posted by: louarmstrong | March 21, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Louarmstrong do you really need an answer? First, it's illegal. Have a little respect for the law and the fact that it's designed to serve all of us, not just you.

Second, it's annoying. I don't want to smell your burrito, I don't want to sit in your crumbs, and I don't want you slopping your crap all over me and my stuff.

Third, and perhaps most important, its unsanitary. Having food -- and leftovers, food wrappers, and all the other garbage -- is a total rat buffet. Metro -- and its riders -- shouldn't have to deal with vermin because you're too self important to follow the law.

@akchild -- I'm totally with you. I've been tempted to make citizens' arrests on some of the nonsense I've witnessed.

Posted by: Kalnel | March 21, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

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