Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Metro is NOT Smiling at You :)

From Seth:

"I guess the driver of that X2 was really happy with him or herself."

and @rkaufman noticed the following in a tweet:

"Route sign on bus leaving #brookland: 'H6:)' Part of #wmata's new friendly image?"

We asked Metro if the characters were part of an effort to cheer up downtrodden commuters, and they said "there is nothing being done like this. If extraneous characters appear, it is by gremlin or accident."

Have a nice commute :)


Christine said...

By gremlin makes sense.

Golden Silence said...

I've seen weird things like that before, like with the D6 bus showing up with it saying "D?" (yes, a question mark instead of a 6).

I think only the Circulator buses deliberately have friendly greetings, like "Happy Holidays" or "Have a Nice Day" on them.

Hostage Hoosier said...

I am suprised they don't just have a sign that flips everyone the bird.

Unsuck DC Metro said...

@ Hostage Hoosier HAHAHAHA!

Hostage Hoosier said...

sometimes i can't help myself.

Jason said...

It isn't gremlins. It's drivers who want to bypass the stop announcement system (and possibly, by association, reporting to Nextbus).

It used to be a lot more commonplace than it is now, more in the suburbs than in the city since the change to LED signs. Go hang around Silver Spring and your head might hurt with "-J2-", "Q-2.", "*Y8*", "=F6=", "Z<>8", and more!

Anonymous said...

I tried to post this in here, bit it got messed up

fedk said...


Anonymous said...

The strangest thing I see is when a bus has the "911 Call Police" thing activated. I've seen it too many times with the bus driver and passengers behaving normally to believe it anymore.

Anonymous said...

One would think that if they are in a hostage situation or something (that's where I could see the 911 sign being used) that they would be acting normally. The sign is supposed to be used when the driver can't stop the bus and radio in the situation for some reason but still wants to contact the police.

Rachel said...

Gremlins? Seriously, wmata?

Anonymous said...

Half the time the S9 bus says Silver Springs Station.

IMGoph said...

how about this g8 that i caught last year: g8!

Stanton Park said...

When I lived in Pittsburgh, the Port Authority used all kinds of irrelevant messages from "Have a Nice Day" to "TGIF." All it did was make it more difficult to figure out where the bus was going. Is there something wrong with using the destination board to show the bus destination? If you want a smiley face, why not just stick a smiley face sticker on the bus. There's plenty of room for that.

Anonymous said...

Have others noticed problems with the electronic signs that are supposed to tell you what the next train is and when it will be arriving? Is the sucking signage a symptom of a more dangerous problem: That Metro doesn't know where its trains are at any given moment?

I use the Braddock Road metro station, which is served by the Yellow and Blue lines. I can use either one, but the commute goes better if I stand at one place on the platform for Yellow line trains, and at another place for Blue lines.

This morning I noticed a Yellow line serving the platform as I walked up to the station. Since they normally alternate, I made a mental note to head to my Blue line place. When I got up the escalator, however, the electronic sign said that the next train would be a Yellow line, and that it would be arriving in 2 minutes. That seemed odd, but I walked to my usual Yellow line place on the platform.

Once I got there, the train was supposed to be one minute away. But there was no train in sight. Several of us were looking at the sign, and then looking down the empty track, mystified. Then the sign said the invisible train was arriving. When the sign said the train was boarding, and there was no train there, I trudged back up the platform to be ready for the next scheduled train, a Blue line. That train did arrive.

This was only an annoyance for me. But if these signs get their data from whatever is supposed to be telling Metro where its trains are (and aren't), the issue could have deadly consequences. A track worker, for example, could be led to believe that there was no train in the neighborhood when, in fact, one was about to run him down. Wait, didn't that just happen? Again?

Anonymous said...

"there's nothing being done like that." LOL

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