Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rail Rage

From reader Emmaleigh504:
I think people are starting to lose it on Metro. Here's my story. I've sent it to Metro, but not sure what they can do besides start running the trains at normal speeds again--or handing out Valium and Xanax.
I think the Red Line commute is devolving into Lord of the Flies.
The Red Line has been super slow and crowded since the accident. I've worked out a little system to get to work sort of on time. I get on at Woodley Park, go up to Tenleytown, then catch a train to Gallery Place/Chinatown. It has been working pretty well. Not so yesterday.
When unloading at Gallery Place there was some pushing. Heck, even when nothing is wrong, there is some pushing involved to get off the train. The man in front of me totally lost his cool. He said something about all the pushing, turned around, looked me in the eye, and called me a "God damned bitch." I wasn't even touching him; I was pushing the girl in front of me.
I was shocked. I think everyone else was a little surprised too. A guy next to me hit the metro-rage guy with his newspaper and said something I couldn't quite get. Then I recovered and started yelling obscenities at the metro-rage guy. I was pissed! The guy with the newspaper made metro-rage guy apologize, but I was too pissed and told him to f off.
Later, downstairs waiting for my next train, the metro-rage guy came back to apologize, but he wasn't even sure I was the chick he yelled at! That's when I got a good look at him. It dawned on me that he looked a lot like the guy I saw the day before who pushed a girl off a train before the doors closed. He pushed her pretty hard. It would have been a tight squeeze for her to stay on without getting in the way of the doors, but she would have fit.
To top it all off, even though I gave myself an extra hour to get to work, I was still late.

Have you seen or been a victim of rail rage?

Other news:
Technicians Knew About Circuit Problem on Metro Track (WJLA)
Metro failed to detect hazard (WaPo)
NTSB: Signals failed before Metro crash (WTOP)
Sensor continued to fail after repairs (Wash. Examiner)
Cochran firm engaged against Metro (City Paper)

Of interest:
Cheaper ways to core capacity (GGW)
Pervs taking advantage of Red Line crowds (Hollaback DC)

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DCTrafficChick said...

omg, if a man was cursing at other passengers and pushing people off before doors closed, he should be pointed out to Metro police and escorted off! It's a transit system we all have to use, he has no right!

CaroLyn said...

I can't say I've been a victim of rail rage persay yet, but I'm nine months pregnant and had to stand from Dupont to Tenleytown Tuesday morning because no one would give up their seat. The train wasn't so packed that my hugeness was hard to see, nor would it have been difficult to move around. No one wanted to get up though.

maralenenok said...

I heard people yelling angrily in my Glenmont-bound train at Farragut West around 5:30pm yesterday. I turned up the volume on my iPod to tune it out, though, cause I was already frustrated about my commute and didn't need any extra annoyance.

CaroLyn - wow. People suck. I've never witnessed behavior like that. Even last week, with crowded trains, people were very conscious of giving up their seats for those who needed them more. Everyone seems a lot more tense and rude this week and I hope that stops soon.

Anonymous said...

Last night at Farragut North a gentleman on the platform lost his mind and started screaming at the top of this lungs. This was right after they started announcing the delays due to the sick passenger. Pretty strange to hear an entire station PACKED with hundreds of people fall silent to listen to this guy! I couldn't see him as I was on the other end of the station, so I don't know if he quieted down on his own or if station security got to him.

I took the bus.

Brady Bonk said...

No, but I've dished it out.

Addison said...

Saw some epic rail rage last friday. Transfering at Rosslyn after the Blue/Yellow line "fire" the lower platform was pretty packed and the Vienna-bound Orange line trains were crowded as ususal. People were queueing on either side of the doors when a lady marches up to the center of the doors and stands there as they open, blocking everyone from getting off or on, and yelling "I'm important, I need to get home." This devolved into a shouting match between her: "LET ME IN" and passengers on the train: "LET US OFF." Since I'm not important I stepped back to wait for the next Orange line train, which was coming in 3 minutes (and was much less crowded).

Tom A. said...

I've had a lot of metro rage this week. I was in the fornt car near the driver, and yelled "This is bullshit" to her each of the THREE times she stopped for 3-5 minutes between Union station and farragut North on the redline Wednesday morning. She politely announced each time we were "standing by." We had waited nearly 10 minutes for a train at Union station, and had to wait 5 minutes MORE at the station- on a hot car packed to the gills. We were on the train for 30 minutes to go four stops. (8:40 to 9:10) A thousand or more of us were late for our 9am jobs, because we had to "stand by" for so long. I called Metro to complain, and was told that the red line will continue with 10 minute head ways until further notice. (It's usually 3 or 4 max.)

Today I took the bus, and was punished by having a 300 pound woman and her "Dominican crack baby" (her words) sit next to me.

Tom A. said...

Oh I forgot to mention the gentleman with turrets barely hanging on for dear life due to the stress of the Wednesday's red line commute when were were trapped in the tunnel. He started twitching quite a bit, but he held it together.

Brady Bonk said...

"Oh I forgot to mention the gentleman with turrets barely hanging on for dear life due to the stress of the Wednesday's red line commute when were were trapped in the tunnel. He started twitching quite a bit, but he held it together."

Glad I'm not the only one. This is a large reason I am now a confirmed bus-rider. I HATE HATE HATE IT WHEN THEY STOP IN THE TUNNELS.

Anonymous said...

@CaroLyn -- It is absolutely the responsibility of people in the handicapped/disabled seats to get up for you. However, if they don't, I believe you should be proactive, for your part, and ask them to please move so that you may sit. There are easy ways to do so without provoking Metro rage... "Excuse me, I know that it's crowded, but I'm nine months' pregnant, and it hurts to stand. Would you mind switching places with me?"

It's like a backup system (okay, maybe not the best analogy these days.....). Yes, they should be willing to get up, but you should also be willing to be proactive and not hesitate to call out someone for not doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Emmaleigh504 admits to "pushing the girl in front of me." And somehow a guy who takes exception to being pushed in the back is the jerk in this story?

Granted, he shouldn't have called you a bitch, but you shouldn't have been shoving people off the train in the first place.

People shouldn't be hitting each other with newspapers either. That's kinda rude :-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that guy is definitely a jerk for calling her a bitch after he was shoved... seeing as she was standing behind him... and shoving people.

And she's totally NOT a jerk for "yelling obscenities" at him.


Anonymous said...

Saw a woman lose it today on the Red Line between Farragut and Metro Center. She was yelling for people to move. She kept saying that people should move into the train. But she sounded so nasty and mad. And then she said, "I f-ing hate people."

C said...

You screaming and cursing at the guy to that extent just perpetuates things. That's rail rage, too. How about trying, "I wasn't even touching you!" Or instead realizing that life is way too short to even worry about this guy, and deciding to brush it off and get on with your life?

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