@slaterusa Check it out: http://twitpic.com/x4oug the mythical escalator maintenance guy actually working at Bethesda! #wmata
It seems like the Bethesda escalators are among the most problematic in Metro.
From reader Tim:
In early January, the escalators (all of them) at the Bethesda station were offline. The escalators from the mezzanine to the ground level are some of the tallest in the Metro system.
I asked the station manager when he expected the escalators to be fixed, and after he was rude to me (I suspect he’d been catching a lot of flak from riders for something he, ultimately, couldn’t do much about.), he calmed down pretty quickly and said he wasn't sure.
You know, the thing that bugs me the most about Metro is that it seems to act like it's some kind of necessary utility. It's certainly a great resource, but it's not an electric or a water company. Many of us have reasonable alternatives for commuting.
But it's this attitude that leads to a sense that, while they aim to be fair, there's no real effort to satisfy customers.
In this instance, my commute was pretty inconvenient. So, why not program the gates at Bethesda to knock 50 cents off the price of each fare as you go through the gate? Put up a sign that reads, "our apologies for the inconvenience. To make it up to you, enjoy a discounted rate while exiting this station."
Boom. People see you're at least trying.
It's just such a terrible business model: Ridership is down, so they increase fares and decrease quality of service. This, in turn, directly decreases ridership, so they again increase fares and decrease quality of service, resulting in lower ridership. And so on, and so on.
How long will it take them to understand they'll need an outside-the-box solution to escape that downward spiral? They can blame the economy all they want, but in the end, I fault Metro.
Escalator improvement: No we can't
Escalators-to-stairs idea shot down in flames
What is wrong with the escalators?
Escalator forecast: Heavy sucking with intermittent unsucking
Metro's failin'est escalator
Human error blamed in latest Metro deaths (Examiner)
Fallen Metro employees remembered (WaPo)
NTSB back again (WaPo)
MTA fining "seat hogs" (Daily News)