Thursday, May 21, 2009

Retail Fail

Everyone is all atwitter about the possibility of retail outlets--some possibly selling food--opening up at certain stations. Some love the idea, and others think it's ridiculous to entertain the thought of selling food in stations while maintaining the strict no eating and drinking rules. People have mixed opinions on that policy, too.
We remind you that Metro has tentatively walked down this path twice before only to decide in the end that there really wasn't enough interest on the part of potential retailers because they want to sell food, not newspapers.
And anyway, before Metro gets ahead of itself with its plans to add retail outlets in some stations, we think they ought to at least clean up the mess of past flirtations with retail like this row of dusty, obsolete machines at Court House that ostensibly once sold something called newspapers. These giant brown boxes still litter many a station. Wha' happened?
In the brown box's favor, we do like the user interface better than the ticket machines.
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9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Metro likes to leap before they look. It's the same with Smartrip and now this idea of credit cards. I like that metro is open to trying new things, but there just doesn't seem to be a methodical approach to it.

Michael said...

The newspaper stands were closed due to a concern for terrorism. 50 cents to purchase access to a bomb hiding place seemed like a good deal, so WMATA decided to get rid of it.

Let's get Metro Fixed said...

Get rid of them then.

Brady Bonk said...

Wouldn't such a move provide a disincentive for regular businesses to locate near a Metro stop? And would not such a disincentive undermine the value of Metro to its users? If CVS decides not to locate right next to the Court House stop because there's a vendor right there that sells toenail clippers and Asprin, then I might figure on just driving to the CVS instead of utilizing Metro, no?

No, this is a dumb idea. If Metro needs munny to come in so badly, why not have each Metro stop partner somehow with the businesses right in the area? How about a "Shoppe Directory," a brilliant-colored guide in each station indexing businesses above ground, for a sponsorship? Would that not be useful?

Or, how about this: Instead of fretting about setting up sh*tty little pawn stands underground, Metro could, oh, I don't know, figure out how to make the friggin' esculators stop breaking? Or how to time its trains so they don't have to stop under the Potomac River? Or train drivers to understand that they're transporting people, not cargo? Hmmmm?

Anonymous said...

Who Cares? Metro has bigger problems than empty newspaper machines.

Let's get Metro Fixed said...

Suggest you read The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

Michael said...

@LGMF 1:22pm, that would cost money to remove them. It costs nothing to leave them where they are.

Let's get Metro Fixed said...

Seems like prime real estate for a hot dog stand!

Let's get Metro Fixed said...

Oops. We meant umbrella stand ;)

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