Yesterday, the Examiner published a story claiming Metro ridership was off in July.
That riders are increasingly disgusted by Metro is no surprise, but we think it's a little too early to draw any conclusions about declining ridership.
Frankly, and believe us, this is hard to say, some of Metro's explanations made sense.
We're sure, however, that continued poor service will indeed drive people away over the long term.
But what's most interesting about this story is what top Metro spokeswoman, Lisa Farbstein, said in response to a WMAL reporter asking her about the ridership numbers.
Here's Farbstein nonchalantly giving her version (MP3) of the data.
OK great. That's her take. Fine. Done.
Then, out of left field, comes Farbstein's apparently NSFW response (This MP3 has been cleverly cleaned up) to the question about where the Examiner got its numbers.
It's fine if she disagrees with the Examiner's reporting, it's to be expected, and maybe she's right. But for Metro's PR head to react this defensively and squander a golden opportunity to set, from her point of view, the record straight is amazing.
Then again, rudeness seems to be a growing cancer in WMATA culture, as is apparent when some Metro employees are asked even the most simple of questions. Here, too.
If Farbstein's demeanor is an example of Metro's plans to repair its quickly deteriorating public image, Metro had better go back to the drawing board and come up with something a little less inflammatory.
Metro subcontractor electrocuted on the job (WaPo)
Manual operation for the foreseeable future (WaPo)
Bye Bye Verizon monopoly (WMATA)