Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Metro doesn't have a room big enough to accommodate the hundreds of people who wanted to give the Board a little friendly advice regarding service cuts, fare increases or raiding the capital fund to bridge this year's budget gap.
That led to an awkward, three-roomed circus, which might have been hard to follow had the message from the crowd not been so overwhelmingly loud and clear: Get your act together. We're fed up!
It was amazing to see most people haven't been suckered by WMATA's false choice of four sucky options. Yes, they're probably the only realistic options this year, but years of mismanagement, degrading customer service and underfunding have led us to this choice of four piles of poop, some bigger, some smaller, depending on your perspective.
People of all races, colors, income levels and creeds, and impressively, some with severe disabilities came out tonight to vent, not just about the immediate situation, but at what a husk of its former self WMATA has become.
To put it into a little perspective, last year, we attended one of the budget cut hearings in Arlington. It was so sleepy you could hear other people breathing.
Tonight was punctuated by applause and vocal praise for some of the more colorful speakers. There was even a little drama.
Some speakers suggested WMATA employees give up their free ride perk. "When I worked at Foot Locker, I didn't get free shoes," said one.
Another woman, frustrated by the poor choices before the Board, tore up a piece of paper with the four options on them and tried to deliver them to a very puffy and red looking Jim Graham who seemed unable to pronounce even the simplest of names.
Many speakers hearkened back to a long-gone era when Metro ran smoothly and efficiently. One such speaker asked the Board to "resign, retire or leave." Amen, good sir.
Yet these cuts are probably nothing compared to what's down the rails. We'll be right back here in a short while, with even bigger problems as Metro takes on the very ugly 2011 budget.
Metro's fate now lies in the hope a superhero will take over as GM (WaPo)
WaPo's take on last night's hearing
Posted by Unsuck DC Metro at 8:31 PM