As has been reported, WMATA hired some high-priced communications consultants to help them spin their never ending bad news.
First of all, if Metro stopped screwing up, they'd be able to forget about crisis management communications and save us some dough. Maybe the money could go toward the budget gap.
But we digress.
The first confirmed product under the consultants was displayed here.
Yesterday, came another, bigger blunder--at least we think so.
Just as people were settling into work after some major Red Line delays caused by A PART THAT "BECAME DISASSEMBLED" FROM A TRAIN, what does Metro do?
They issue a press release about how they've spent $20,000 on two "T3" pimped out Segway-looking tricycles for the Metro Transit Police, and they may buy even more!
The release was accompanied by an unintentionally funny video.
Now, maybe these suped up Big Wheels will end crime as we know it on Metro. We're not experts, but to put this news out so soon after a major meltdown looks ... well, dumb--and completely disconnected from the riders' experience.
Next time there's a category III suckstorm, we suggest a press release about how Metro is planning to keep parts from falling off trains and delaying thousands. Or how they'll stop buses from hitting people. Or how they'll keep trains from colliding.
But it doesn't end here.
Late yesterday evening, Metro issued a press release about "a fatal pedestrian accident."
In the release is the following sentence:
"Service Operations Managers are continuing to convey the importance of pedestrian awareness to more than 2,400 Metrobus operators on the street and 950 bus maintenance personnel."
So it has come to this: People who drive a bus for a living need a friendly reminder not to hit people on the street.
Seriously, what good is that going to do? Isn't pedestrian awareness something most of us behind a wheel automatically have without need for "reinforcements" and "conversations?"
Is that the best they could do to reassure an increasingly leery public? Obviously, there's something more fundamental, more systemic afoot at Metro, and more reminders probably aren't going to help.
Well done consultants!
If Metro is this dumb with a "little" money, what are they going to do with (if they get) a lot of money?
Pedestrian accident ends in fatality (WaPo)
Medical Center plan revealed (GGW)