Thursday, October 8, 2009

Proud Operator Works to Make Metro Clean and Safe

If you've ever wondered why there are often reports of fire and/or smoke on the tracks caused by smoldering garbage, here might be one clue from reader Eric:

The other night, there was some kind of delay on the Red Line at about 7:30 p.m.

I was at the Farragut North stop for close to 15 minutes before a train came, which was right about the point they announced there was a delay at NY Avenue.

Anyway, the first train to come was really crowded, so I decided to wait a few minutes for the next one because I wasn't in a hurry.

As I stood at the front of the platform playing with my Blackberry, I heard a noise from the direction of the driver, who had popped her head out the window.

I looked down and there was a newspaper (looked like an Express, but maybe it was an Examiner or Onion) sitting right next to the tracks.

Did what I think happen really happen? Did the train driver really just toss a newspaper out of the train and onto the platform?

Apparently yes, because after the train left, I went to move the newspaper with my foot so it wouldn't be near the tracks (and possibly fall in and start a fire or something), and a guy standing next to me said, "You know, the driver threw that out of the train."

I responded, "That's what I thought, but I couldn't believe she'd do that."

He responded, "I can. It's Metro."

Other items:
"Regular service" returns to Red Line (WMATA)
8 bus drivers fail drug/alcohol tests after crashes (Examiner)
Drug/alcohol policy softer than cell phone policy (Examiner)

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Anonymous said...

They say love has no pride. They were wrong. Metro employees have no pride.

Once I'd have taken guests on metro for a fun trip somewhere. Now we drive. It is too embarrassing to "show" them our subway system.

Dan Franzen said...

I didn't realize that paper/trash on the tracks can cause fires. Isn't this yet another reason not to allow publishers to hand out free papers at Metro stations? Not only do people consistently leave them on the train (despite being asked not to do so), they dump them on the platforms, on the tracks, anywhere.

So it's not just a nusiance, it's an act fraught with dangerous implications.

Anonymous said...

I wish I were surprised by this.

Anonymous said...

Get over yourself... Too "embarrassing" to show the subway???

Anonymous said...

I've seen Metro employees eating on the trains and holding up traffic by standing on the left side of the escalators. If they don't follow their own rules, why would anybody else feel obliged?

Anonymous said...

This operator should be fired.

There should be an immediate restriction on the distribution of "free" newspapers at Metro.

What is the Washington Post thinking giving out headline news for free?

If someone actually had to pay for the newspaper, perhaps they'd be less apt to toss it onto the tracks, causing a fire.

Anonymous said...

I dislike the free newspapers too (and I think the Unsuck Metro poll as to which free paper you prefer should have included a "none of the above" option). At most, the publishers should be allowed to make them available in boxes for people to pick up if they want to; employing people to thrust them into the arms of riders who don't want them causes some people to take them because its easier than saying "no," and those people may be the first to toss them out or leave them littering the trains.

As for what the Washington Post is thinking giving away free papers, they are presumably thinking that the ad revenue more than covers the lost revenue from not charging readers for the paper itself. They must be right, because they have been doing it for years now. To make this work, they need high circulation numbers. That's probably why they are so aggressive about handing out the papers - if passengers had to go and pick up their paper from a distribution box, even for free, fewer people would bother to do so. Circulation would drop, they couldn't charge as much for ads, and the whole enterprise would fail.

Unfortunately, given the strong protection that freedom of the press enjoys under the First Amendment, the government probably can't prohibit people from passing out newspapers, free or otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Many fires from newspapers blowing on tracks too

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