Metro's new courtesy campaign encourages you to give up your seat for someone who needs it. The flip side is that Metro's frequent door issues all too often take that seat right back and then put a disabled or injured passenger through an obstacle course even the most able bodied find difficult to traverse.
From Blue Line rider Addison H.:
I was traveling on the Blue line toward Franconia-Springfield this morning when my train experienced severe door failure. We pulled into National Airport station and then pulled away without discharging any of the tourists and travelers who were patiently waiting by the doors, suitcases in hand, no doubt ready to catch a flight.
This prompted a flurry of curses in German and a frantic cell phone call from the nice couple standing next to me. I originally thought we missed the station, but when we pulled into Braddock Road, the operator came over the intercom and asked "if the doors of car #3085 do not open, please let me know." I looked back: Yup, I was in car #3085.
Luckily, for the airport crowd, the doors opened at Braddock Road, and they were able to disembark but no doubt gifted some additional stress about whether they'd make their flights.
King Street however, was a different story. We pulled into the station, but again the doors didn't open. The chimes and disembodied voice worked, but the doors remained shut fast. People rushed for the emergency intercoms at both ends of the train.
The operator tried to cycle the doors, then came into the car and tried the emergency door opener, but to no avail. Finally, he led the occupants of the car through the emergency exit and onto the platform via the car in front of 3085.
For those of you who aren't aware or haven't had the pleasure of escaping from a Metro car, the emergency doors are located at either end of a train car. They open and you walk across the coupling between the cars into the car ahead of or behind the stricken car. Looking down you can see the gravel and rails. I would not want to attempt this on a moving train.
This maneuver would be extremely difficult for a handicapped person, someone on crutches or someone with a service animal.