Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Operators Save Metro From Itself

From Trainless in Chinatown:

I have had my fair share of annoying experiences on the Metro, but my trip on the Yellow Line the night of Aug. 20-21 (it took me two hours to get from Gallery Place to King Street) really took the cake. It was enough to make me break down and write a complaint to Metro. Oddly enough, it was the train operators who were the most helpful in figuring out what train to get on in order to get home.

Here is my story.

Despite knowing the Yellow Line trains were running on a delay due to track work, I was unaware the scheduled disruptions and my need to add 36 to 45 minutes to my trip would mean NO Yellow Line trains would come to Gallery Place over the course of more than an hour.

I got into the station two minutes before 11 p.m. and finally, when the last Green Line Train to Branch Avenue (the third Green Line Train I had seen) pulled into the station, the operator announced that if anyone was trying to get to Huntington they should get on the Green line and go to L'Enfant.

I had watched Yellow Line trains appear on the arrivals board, their arrival times neared only to suddenly disappear before a train actually arrived at Gallery Place.

It was extremely hot on the platform, someone a distance from me had fainted, and when a fellow passenger hit the "help" button, I did not hear any response. The fellow passenger went back to the man who had fainted and alerted other riders and myself to direct any Metro officials in their direction. I never saw anyone respond.

I understand that systems need work, and I can appreciate that there is no "good time" to do that work.

But at least send out the proper information.

With no Blue Line service, the Yellow Line was my only option, and if I could have caught an earlier train at L'Enfant by getting on an earlier Green Line train, it would have made my 2-hour trip a lot shorter.

Arriving at my final destination, King Street, at 1:00 a.m. and alone made me feel very unsafe. Planning for a 45 minute delay should have gotten me to King Street at 12:15 a.m. at the latest.

I had seen the official news and was prepared for this:

"Yellow Line trains will operate once every 36 minutes between the Fort Totten and Huntington Metrorail stations, and will share one track between the Braddock Road and L’Enfant Plaza Metrorail stations."

Unfortunately, ZERO Yellow Line service is what I experienced. I commend the operator of the final Branch Avenue train for holding at Gallery Place and making multiple announcements so that people could get home. I also commend the Yellow Line operator whose train I eventually got on at L'Enfant (probably around 12:30 a.m.) who made clear instructions for Blue Line riders at King Street.

Despite the lack of official information from Metro, these operators were the reason I made it home.

Other items:
Metro mechanic accused of stabbing fellow worker (Examiner)
Inside the Metro sign shop (WaPo)
Purple Line update (WaPo)
No more free bus rides for PG Co. students (Examiner)
add to del.icio.us Add to Blinkslist add to furl Digg it add to ma.gnolia Stumble It! add to simpy seed the vine TailRank post to facebook


Anonymous said...

It's nice to see the operators finally using the mic system for something other than yelling at passengers, but one has to wonder how they got the information about the Yellow Line but the rest of the system seemed clueless? It's like one hand doesn't know what the other is doing.

Anonymous said...

They warned you of the delays and yet you persisted in trying to take Metro. Try a cab or STFU.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Such hostility.

Anonymous said...

It's one thing to post a delay but another thing completely to just not run the train at all. Every day is another day I'm glad I moved away from the DC Metro area.

Mandi said...

Are you saying that taking the greenline train to l'enfant will get me a yellow line train to huntingdon faster? It's been taking me 2 hours to get from Dupont to Crystal city every sunday and i don't know what my other options are.

Anonymous said...

Same thing happened to me last night - no one said anything. Worst part: I had to swipe again to get out and take a cab, so I actually paid for the privilege of standing on the platform for 40 minutes!

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Site Meter