Monday, December 21, 2009

snoWMATA


It's a strange day. A lot of people are off due to the snow, but a lot of you had to brave a hobbled Metro to get to work.
A surprising amount of you rode Metro over the past couple of days.
How'd WMATA handle things given the record amount of snow that fell?
From the anecdotes we've heard, it would seem Metro suffered mostly from--big surprise--a lack of communication.
What are your thoughts and experiences?
We tried to find some examples of what other mass transit systems had done in a huge snow. London, for example, shut down much of its mass transit early this year when it was walloped with a huge snowfall.
Reports from New York were that the MTA was running fairly normally, despite the snowfall, which was several inches less than here.
What feedback would you give WMATA?
If you don't feel like writing about your experiences, at least vote in the poll over there to the left.

Photo: daveweigel

Other items:
"Crazy" woman on the Green Line (YouTube)
Metro employee goes off (YouTube)

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

All said, WMATA did OK given the huge amount of snow it had to get out of the way. On Sun, I was stuck in Alexandria and needed to get into the city for work. The Yellow line reopened just in time. I felt a little scared going over the bridge, but all was well.

Hulgaard said...

I lived in Scandinavia for about half of my life, and I've never seen public transportation grinding to a halt like it does here.

A few years ago I was coming back from New York on Amtrak during a snow, and they shut down too. That snow was quite mild.

America is very very behind the times in this regard.

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping I haven't shot myself in the foot for my commute home... This morning really wasn't so bad, but then I wasn't on the Blue/Orange. My only complaint is that my Red Line car reeked of pee, but that's more a complaint about disgusting human beings than about Metro.

Anonymous said...

I was expecting wmata hell this morning, but apart from the odor of wet and dirty carpetig, the commute wasn't bad.

KLamb said...

LOL!!! That video of the angry WMATA employee pretty much sums up every experience I've ever had with one, snow or no snow.

Anonymous said...

To the Scandinavian and comparisons to NYC. Metro could probably invest in additional de-icing equipment to cope with these types of snowfalls, but is it worth having if the storms are so infrequent. It's like asking Miami to have the same snow removal equipment as Buffalo.

I'd rather have the money put towards other priorities that will affect my commute the other 355+ days of the year. We already know Metro has some other issues to address...

Anonymous said...

complete utter failure. i had to go do work on sat. it wasn't easy or fun but i had to do. 100s of wmata employees couldn't?? gotta be kidding. they saw it as an easy day off. screw the public

Anonymous said...

Given the amount of snow and the rarity of that kind of snowfall, I think that wmata did as well as they should have been able to. Their website was really clear about the limits they have and appropriately suspended service when it became unsafe. Since DC doesn't get hit like this often, it's unfair to expect much more.

I did notice problems when I took the metro in from Cleveland Park to downtown for some fun on Sunday. The trains were running fine, but the announcement boards were nearly useless. The Gallery Place board listed only a No Passenger train 20 minutes away, and then went blank. A train then showed up about 5 minutes later. I think that the snow interfered with the tracking system.

ARMLead09 said...

The bottom line is that they need to figure out a good communication system that is consistent. On Saturday at about 11:45 a.m. they put a notice on their website that train service would halt at 1:00 p.m. for all above ground stations. Fair enough, the third rail would be impacted and it would be unsafe. But the notice said that the Green line would be running between Ft. totten and Congress heights. I showed up at Ft. Totten at 1:45 p.m. and they were forcing people out of the station (i am the guy who took video of the crazy WMATA employee above). The police officer there who was very nice and polite said that they were "purging the system" meaning that only those already on trains were allowed in stations both above and below ground. This was obviously false, but he stated his information was directly from HQ 10 minutes before I spoke to him. We have sent a letter to the Mayor and I e-mailed WMATA customer service. No reply yet.

DCJentray said...

it's wet, stinky, slippery and gross, but it got me from a to be, and really, that's all i want. wish they could do that all the time.

Anonymous said...

Communications fail. I rode Friday evening when the snow started. No warnings of anticipated or possible closures. Given my 2003 experience I knew better, but with communications being the fail of the year, you think they would have made an attempt. The ealert came three hours before the ceased service.

Why not partner with MARC to run additional trains between Rockville and Union Station?

Anonymous said...

failed so hard, the sign was blank then said 9 mins, then 11, then blank, then 2, then blank for 5 mins, then 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1- train finally arrived after almost 1/2 an hour

Anonymous said...

Once again it was the front line employees who let Metro down. I was out Saturday before the decision to close was made. It was chaos at West Falls Church. No one there knew what was going on. I gave up.
When I got home and on the computer, I saw Metro's e-alerts and press releases. Those were pretty good. Too bad the station managers didn't get ethe memo.
They weren't rude or anything, but theye didn't know more than anyone else.

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous at 11:21 am -- You mean the news that came at least two days prior that we were going to get the worst snowstorm in years wasn't advance warning enough??

OmegiIchiro said...

Snow aside, a city that can't give its citizens reliable public transport will see more and more car traffic problems. Right now, WMATA's lameness is a huge reason DC ranks consistently as among the worst traffic among US cities.

Anonymous said...

I went to the Target in PG Plaza on Saturday. When I left Target an hour later, I found out that Metro was closed. I took the train from Silver Spring and also have an option of taking a bus but couldn't because Metro shut down. Then that idot CE Jack Johnson declared a state of emergency so no taxis were running. I called a friend to pick me up and other good smaratians offered stranded Metro riders home. Once again this was lack of communication on there part upon notifying the public when everything shut down. I'm from Alaska and snow is what we do, they need to be better prepared for here in the DMV area...

Anonymous said...

Shocking - Washington, DC doesn't handle snow as well as Alaska and Scandanavian countries? Well, let's just use all that extra tax money we have laying around to buy the best darn snow and ice removal equipment we can get our hands on - AND LOTS OF IT! You know, you gotta be ready when a major snowstorm hits ONCE EVERY 6 YEARS!

You know Metro will text you service disruptions, right?

Anonymous said...

Maybe if we ended one party rule in Arlington and DC there would be much better accountability for WMATA than Democrats approving of other Democrats actions all the time.
Just a thought...

Post a Comment

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