Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Two Hours From Farragut West to Vienna=FAIL

Dear Metro:
I arrived at the Farragut West station tonight, July 20, at just after 7:30 p.m. I finally arrived at my destination, the Vienna station, at just before 9:30 p.m. A trip that should take about 45 minutes took instead almost 2 hours. How does this happen?
Well, let me tell you. First you had a train malfunction at the Court House station. That took about 30 minutes to clear up. Within seconds--literally--after trains finally started moving again, you suddenly had a "switching problem" at the Foggy Bottom station. Interspersed between elevator outage announcements (about one every 30 seconds--thanks, I think I have all those stations memorized now if I ever need them), you delivered the dreaded news that there would be "single tracking" between Farragut West and Foggy Bottom.
(By the way, when single tracking, I agree with you 100 percent that it is a great idea to let at least one east-bound train through for every west-bound train. Who cares if the east-bound trains are nearly empty while the west-bound trains are so full there's no chance of anyone actually boarding? Rush hour be damned! I like that attitude in you, Metro.)
On nights like these, and they happen often, what I appreciate most is that friendly voice over the loudspeaker thanking me for my patience and telling me she apologizes for "any inconvenience" that you, Metro, may have caused.
Don't worry, Metro. What inconvenience could you possibly cause?

Sincerely yours,

Other items:
Where's Google Transit? (GGW)
Bus drivers have four strikes (WTOP)
Bad information on the Red Line (WaPo)
VIDEO: Red Line riders interviewed by WaPo

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Michael said...

Ok, so they have to keep the number of trains going through a single track area more or less balanced because they don't have a place for them to pile up in Vienna, and the folks traveling East from downtown will be experiencing crowded trains too.

Anonymous said...

I, on the other hand, had a phenomenal commute last night, travelling from Federal Triangle to Vienna. When I boarded at FT, I boarded the first of two bunched orange line trains 1-minute apart. Naturally, mind was crowded, while I imagine the on behind me was not so much.

Point being, by the time we got to Clarendon, Metro Control decided to go into skip-stop service over Ballston to alleviate some of the bunching. Half the Ballston commuters got off at Clarendon, the rest at VA^2, and we rolled right through at Ballston.

Even if we did this because my commute was taking longer than it should have, it felt like it was shorter not having to let off 1/3 the train at Ballston while the another 1/3 gets off at WFC and the other 1/3 at Vienna.

Skip-Stop Service rocks. I only wish they did this more regularly... and you know, had third tracks.

Anonymous said...

I also hate those stupid elevator announcements that occur about every minute or so. Always preceded by that stupid computer error sounding noise. When I hear that chime on my computer, it usually is telling me something is wrong. When I hear that noise on the metro, naturally I become instantly tensed up.

Why couldn't Metro have picked a more emotionally neutral sound, or even something pleasant, rather than a sound most people associate with a pop up error message?

Regarding the elevator announcements, I am all about accessibility, but seriously now, do all 500,000 some odd daily riders of Metro need minute-by-minute updates of which elevators are not working?

Hostage Hoosier said...

they couldnt pick a more neutral noise for the chime because they had to find something that complimented the "doors closing" nazi voice.

Anonymous said...

Something similar happened to me on the redline last week. I missed my bus, the last bus, by about 10 minutes. Thanks metro for costing me a $20 cab ride.

Anonymous said...

How about the disabled train at Farragut West at 530 yesterday? Not only was the train not working, the bus that goes from Farragut to Ballston would not STOP to pick people up. Cabs in the city, of course, refuse to go to Virginia in rush hour traffic. This blog should change its name to unsuckdcTRANSIT. Or maybe just unsuckdcmetroAREA.

Anonymous said...

next station "arlington cemetery..we will get you there safe" no joke, that's what a train babysitter said yesterday

Anonymous said...

yOU KNOW what/!!

I think these delays are set up to inconvenience the customers sooooo
they ca beg for more funding, Yea
that's it. Didn't you know?

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