Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How Many Stops?

How many stops between East Falls Church and Federal Center SW?
On most subway systems, you'd count the little circles on the map that represent stations and come up with a number. If you did that on the map of the DC Metro, you'd be tempted to answer that there are 13 stops from East Falls Church to Fed Ctr.
However, this apparently straightforward system of counting doesn't work on DC's Rube Goldberg-esque subway. In fact, today there were 29 stops! For a few of the unexpected ones, the driver announced the reason was there was a train in the station ahead, but there were many that just went unexplained. What is wrong?
We've ridden extensively on subway systems in New York, Madrid, Brussels and Osaka, not to mention tourist visits to several others, and we have NEVER encountered this irritating phenomenon. Have you?

Other Metro news:
Let Metro hear your suggestions (WaPo)
GGW has a post about parking
Examiner piece on possible new Alexandria station
Funny post on Wonkabout about Metro's Facebook page
NBC4.com thought this chart was "nifty."

Also of interest:
The importance of infrastructure (NYTimes)

Photo: John Morris


Anonymous said...

It happened all the time when I lived in New York. Mostly at rush hours when the trains are running close together, and if someone holds the doors, all the trains behind get backed up.

Anonymous said...

What are they thinking with that facebook page?

Unsuck DC Metro said...

When I lived in NYC, I rarely experienced anything like what goes on here EVERY DAY. Were there days in NYC when things didn't run smoothy? Yes, but they were few and far between.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Hong Kong, Taipei, and Montreal and I've only had one experience where a train stopped unexpectedly. During that experience in Taipei, the train, which lacked a driver, started again within 15 seconds of stopping.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh...yes. It is hard to remember a time that I rode the Metro during rush hour (Vienna/Fairfax to Metro Center) that it didn't stop like that and the stops were never smooth from what I remember.

The best thing I ever did was switch jobs so I didn't have to commute in on the Metro. So much happier. So much nicer. No more Metro. Bye bye Metro. Bye bye.

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