Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cabbies Rejoice Over Weekend Closures

The reaction to the news that Metro is planning on closing several stops, including DCA, along the Blue and Yellow lines this coming holiday weekend, was, well, not particularly well received.
Getting in or out on Friday might not be that bad, as the stations won't close until 9:30 p.m., but for Monday, return day, we predict a suckathon.
Cabbies are probably the only people in town who support this decision.
Here are some representative highlights from Twitter. It would be impossible to post them all.

hostagehoosier this just in #wmata makes another retarded decision.
DChi606 Son of a bitch. I'm back into DCA on Monday. What a bunch of IDIOTS! #epicfail
AlwaysAPeach Wow metro is really ridiculous... who closes over Labor Day weekend at the airport stop? #metro #FAIL
ScottGentzen Hey. It's better than doing it for Thanksgiving weekend.
bgallagher2220 Criminy.
alexlundryWhat an astonishingly TERRIBLE idea

ConvertSpndthft Seriously, stuck now that #Wmata is closing over the weekend. What idiot is in charge over there? Flying in Saturday.
suz429 @Space_Fan no kidding... not enough to close 3 stops, but they pick the most inconvenient ones to close on a holiday weekend. #fail #WMATA
map408psu @mikemadden Makes no sense. WMATA says it's been planned far in advance but I'm pretty sure Labor Day was planned even further in advance...
the_dp Metro is closing the National Airport station during Labor Day weekend? Maybe we should fire Catoe. #WMATA FAIL
xantha WMATA, you are DUMB. Closing the airport metro station on a HOLIDAY weekend?! IDIOTS.
DCDivaAbeer Brilliant idea! (sarcasm drip drip)
andywhitedc Catoe's annual salary: 300k. His housing allowance: 60k. Closing DCA on Labor Day: Priceless. #wmata #metrofail #fuckcatoe
pneedleman RT @ashleydc It has been a while since WMATA did something stupid, oh wait they are closing the DCA on labor day wknd!
NatNatinDC Metro closing National Airport stop over Labor Day weekend is the dumbest thing that I've heard in a long, long time #wmata #metrosucks
texpundit Looks like DC Metro bureaucraps are taking their retarded pills again
paulidin @amazzara Wow. What happened to WMATA? Did the terrorists win? It feels like it.
bfpetrillo #wmata epic fail for closing the National Airport station on Labor Day weekend. What part of major travel holiday don't you understand?
tntsandy That has to be a joke, right?! #wmata
jdar @haynie agree. that's barely justifiable even if the whole thing is an underground hindenburg. #wmata
jakemcintyre WTF? RT @bradbaumn RT @cksieloff: srsly question competence of Metro. are they just evil? WTF!!! WHOTF RUNS #WMATA?
urbanbohemian Also... #wmata can't proofread: "Ronald Regan"? Really? (to their credit, it only appears once)
metro_man iMetro UPDATE WMATA: We Must Aggravate Travelers Again: Metro is truly living up to it's reputation..
ToddThurman @MichelleOddis wow. That is a stupid move. That's even stupid for WMATA #metrosucks
jessicabevin Seriously, is anyone at Metro even trying anymore? #wmata

mazzie wow, that's some pretty megafail, #wmata.
julesdc Do we laugh or do we cry?
macg_og @kevin_reiss who schedules track work on holiday weekend at the airport? A WMATA board that drives to work every day

Other items:
Woman abducted at gunpoint at VA Metro station (WaPo)
Feds pay up for inauguration costs (Examiner)
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Brian said...

On a holiday weekend, you close the airport stop? Seriously? I mean, this couldn't wait one more week until a normal weekend, it has to be done on LABOR DAY WEEKEND?

I really, REALLY want to hear Catoe explain this one.

Anonymous said...

I don't want Catoe to explain it. I want him fired.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why everyone is all up in a tizzy about this. Metro announced that they'd be doing this work about a month ago and yesterday they sent out another reminder about it.

They're doing a buttload of trackwork that if not done will literally shut down the metro from deterioration- as in *actually shut the system down* and not just the whiney garbage everyone complains about metro for everything- whether metro related or not.

Theyre replacing half a mile worth of rail, four switches, replacing hundreds of railroad ties, and much much more. This giant project can only be done over a long three-day weekend. Or else, I suppose metro could close down over a normal 2-day weekend and have to close on a normal monday workday as well. I'm sure everyone would be much happier with that.

It's not like metro is closing all 86 of their stations. Theyre closing 3, or 3.4% of the system. It's not like they said F-you to the customers and told them to walk it or cab it- they set up shuttle service. Sure, it may not be as convernient as riding the train, but without doing this necessary work, nobody will be able to ride a literally broken rail system anyway.

You can still take the shuttle/ shell out the $10 for a cab ride from the airport to Pentagon and ride the rest of the system from there on if you're headed into DC, or catch it from Braddock Road if you're headed towards alex. It's not that big of a deal.

Seriously, get the sand out of your *you know what* and stop crying. They're fixing the system so that you can stop crying and what do you do? Cry louder? You all are ridiculous.

Metrofail said...

@Anonymous, September 2, 2009 10:12 AM

Is that you, Lisa Farbstein?

Anonymous said...


ummm, no. I'm a daily metro rider who isn't a pussy and who realized that with any well-oiled machine, you have to make repairs to it every once in a while to keep it running. I'm guessing that you don't actually do any oil changes to your car, you just run it until it dies then buy a new one? seriously, wtf is up with all this whiney garbage?

If you read what metro is doing with this patch of trackwork- and actually understood the massive undertaking of this trackwork- you would understand that it is necessary to close these three stations. you can't just single track through stations when the track switches (the cross sections of track used to move a train from one track to the other) needs to be replaced. it sucks, but if they don't do this now and the thing actually breaks down during *gasp* weekday rush hour, this will create a massive headache, much worse than closing down the stations to do the regular maintenance will.

Believe me, I wish that metro could single track through these stations or at least run either blue or yellow through this stretch so that this isn't such a big headache. Unfortunately, with the type of maintenance that they are doing, that isn't possible. They're replacing things that you just cant single track over.

Read a press release for once and learn a little bit about something before you cry about it. You might want to do an oil change on your car while you're at it, because it seems like you have no concept of what regular maintenance is. Cry. Me. A. River.

Kara said...


BTW, do you have plans that involve being on (or at) the other side of the shutdown? Do you live at one of those stops and plan on taking metro at all? Do you go through everything metro writes down and does not make a big deal of with a fine comb?

If the answer to all three is no ..

respectfully: SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kara said...

anonymous @ 10:41:

The term "regular maintenance" means "planned maintenance". In fact metro has said it was planned.

So answer us this please: why could they not plan for a less-impactfull 3-day weekend (ppl have suggested alternative 3-day weekends, like Columbus Day). Did they not have a 2009 calendar to consult?

Pete said...

I think I saw a WMATA tweet about being able to do this work over previous weekends on account of hairwashing, tennis shoe relacing, cramming for a pop-quiz, ass-ki... but the tweet abruptly ended!

Brian said...

Hey, I'm all for track maintenance- I can't help but wonder if lack thereof cost nine people their lives a while back- but why THIS weekend? Its something that can't wait another week, or be done the previous, it has to be done ON the holiday weekend?

Anonymous said...

My guess is that they need to do this over a three-day weekend because it is A LOT of work and trying to cram it into two days instead of three might either not get all the work done in time or rush the work and leave a greater probability of error. Metro, albeit with a poor recent record, is presumably erring on the side of caution and utilizing the extra day to do so.

As to why it is doing it over labor day weekend and not columbus day weekend. Basically, more people have labor day off of work than have columbus day off of work. If you look at last year's ridership numbers for labor day (9/1), ridership on metrorail was 227,323, whereas on columbus day (10/13), ridership on metrorail was 411,933. I'm guessing they chose this weekend over columbus day in order to minimize the impact to the most amount of riders. In this case 184,610 riders. Essentially, it would be safe to assume that metro chose labor day over columbus day in order to inconvenience 200,000 less riders. It's simple math, really.

Again, that is just my guess. Metro could have any number of other reasons for why it chose labor day over columbus day. Maybe they feel that this stretch is in the most dire need of trackwork and in order to keep the stretch and the system safe and prevent any other crashes, they want to do it sooner rather than later. Maybe they will only have the equiptment/ technicians available at this time. My guess is simple math- riderhsip on labor day is half that of columbus day.

Note that I took all ridership statistics from wmata's website, all public information. I would post a hyperlink, but I can't copy/paste in this box and the link is rather long to type it all out.

Anonymous said...

Columbus Day weekend makes MUCH MORE SENSE anonymous, given that it's not exactly known as being a big travel weekend.

Metro is and continues to be led by incompetence and characterized by ineptness.

Emmzee said...

I'm pretty sure you stole that pic from's blogpost about the weekend closures that was posted yesterday afternoon. Step up your game.

Let's get Metro Fixed said...

actually we got it here:
after searching "confused" on google.

Emmzee said...

Posted yesterday:

Super weak sauce on your part.

Mainland said...

@ Anonymous 10:47


Take a look back at Metro's past press releases and you'll see that a partial closure of a line is ALWAYS needed when a switch like the one outside Pentagon City needs replacing. The rails run right next to each other at that section, so there's not enough room to effectively do switch work AND run a train on the adjoining track.

When the rails are further apart, like the Bethesda section of the Red Line where they just did a ton of switch work, Metro can single track and break the work out over 4 weekends if needed. Switch replacement like the one at Pentagon City seem to always be allocated to 3 day weekends for the time needed.

Anonymous said...

weak what does that even mean?

Craig said...

@anonymous (10:12 AM): First of all, it's not just that they're closing three stations. They're cutting the lower yellow and blue lines off from the rest of the system - basically giving the finger to Alexandria and points south.

And while I'm aware of the shuttle buses, I also know that the last time they ran shuttle buses between the airport and Braddock Road, that the lines stretched out to 200-300 people and the waits were exorbitant. As for cabs, forget it. The airport cab line was 60 deep.

While it may have little to no impact on DC riders, for those of us dependent on Metro on this side of the Potomac, the weekend is going to be hell.

Kara said...

"how about if I go...?" oh yeah "what about...?" oh

Well, maybe I can celebrate the holiday weekend Tuesday, thanks metro. :(

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