The Metro system: Flawed to the core
On Thursday morning, after leaving my condo at my normal time, I was greeted by an extra-long wait at the White Flint Metro station. After I boarded the train, the operator announced in that muttered “can’t be bothered” tone that one typically hears on the Metro announcement system that there was a cracked rail. Strike one for my commute.
He muttered further that because of to this cracked rail, every train on the Red Line would be sharing a single track from now until the abyss. Strike two. An hour later, we had moved four stops and were crammed in like sardines.
If any one of the problems that plague the Metro system in our nation’s capital were singular, it would be enough for my stomach to handle. The problem is, the problems are many. When the trains are sparse, they are packed with people. During rush hour, trains are still jammed, but don’t forget to add a dash of delay because the system seems incapable of running on a schedule. Throw into the mix the occasional train with door or brake failures, and you’re 30 minutes late to work.
You pay peak-of-the-peak fares, peak fares and off-peak fares — all of which seem exorbitantly high considering the derelict state in which the Metro system remains. Don’t forget the escalators and elevators. If it’s not a problem with one, it’s a problem with the other. After all, who would mind taking a shuttle that adds 20 minutes to his commute if he happens to have a disability or is just incapable of climbing from the bowels of the earth?
I think Metro has reached a point of no return. It seems flawed to the core, and Washingtonians are paying for it — with their time and money. A total overhaul is needed. Management should be replaced with people who have experience running a real Metro system. Time for change, D.C.
Bryan Catalano, Bethesda
| December 17, 2010; 7:13 PM ET
Categories: D.C., Metro, traffic, transportation
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