Seriously Metro, there's a trend here with these nonworking intercoms. Care to do anything about it, or do you see them as "rider communications problems?"
From reader S.E.
On Monday morning, I was in the last car of a Red Line train headed downtown. At the Brookland station at 8:55, a person in an electric wheelchair was exiting the train when the chair somehow got caught on the threshold. The doors closed around the wheelchair, complicating things.
I didn’t see it initially happen, but looked up as a group of people were trying to help push the doors open and free the chair.
The doors sprung open several times, only to close again as the train conductor attempted to resolve the situation in her own way: She also announced on the PA that people should stand clear of the doors, etc., making it obvious that she was unaware of the situation.
While we were in the last car, I find it hard to believe that she could not see an electric wheelchair halfway out of the car from her station.
In addition, one of the passengers attempted to call her via the intercom but got no response.
Eventually, passengers were able to push the wheelchair through the door. Several of the helpers were also exiting at that station, so they jumped out of the car – only to have the doors slammed on them again.
One passenger’s backpack was caught, and, once freed, his foot actually became caught in the door. The train conductor opened and closed the doors one last time, only to remind us via the PA that “when the doors chime, please stand clear of the doors.”
I don’t want to get this conductor in trouble – she’s one of the most easily understood on the PA, and in terms of her job performance, that’s all I know, but I do appreciate it. However, I am, as typical with Metro, more concerned with the systemic failure evident here:
The conductor could not see that a wheelchair was caught in the train door.
She assumed people were blocking the doors rather than realizing a situation was unfolding (and this was Brookland, a relatively quiet station, where you’re much less likely to get people diving on board than at Gallery Place, etc).
Perhaps most troubling is the fact that the intercom appeared to fail.
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