Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Every Journey Begins with a Single Step

Those little, folded fluorescent vests mean the driver of the car is a WMATA employee. Displaying them on the dashboard is a code not to ticket or tow the car, even if the car is illegally parked.

From Toni:
Notice anything? Monday around 6 p.m. at the Kiss & Ride of the Rhode Island Ave. Metro, but it could be any day or time.

I should also note that my neighbor got a ticket in that Kiss & Ride at a time when the sign says it's perfectly O.K. to park there. Wouldn't want to clog up the employee parking, what with the rail yard five blocks away.

Metro has a long, long road ahead in order to restore public confidence.

So WMATA, if you want us to believe there's accountability, start enforcing this simple violation. We realize it's hard to fire anyone, but we've documented this parking abuse again and again (here, here, and here) only to hear that after some temporary enforcement, things just slide back to "normal." Tow them! Ticket them! For cryin' out loud, you the jurisdictions, and indirectly you, need the money.

Interim GM Sarles, please start with the little things, and the riding public might start to believe you truly have begun to institute at least some minimal level of accountability at WMATA. Until you do so, people will continue to believe Metro employees do whatever the hell they please (example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4). Oh, and we can't forget this guy. There are tons more cases of entitled WMATA employees on this blog. Our good buddy Khalil is apparently a parking violator, too.

See a pattern, Mr. Sarles? Fix it.

Other items:
Metro picks new safety officer (WaPo)
But... (via DCist)
Metro gets ridership bump (WMATA)
Funny Toles cartoon (WaPo)


Anonymous said...

Good point, Unsuck! Show me a fair playing board, Metro, and I might just start believing you are serious about improvements. Might.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I saw that Khalil is indeed a frequent violator of this rule too. I wonder why, since all the other station mgrs. at EFC that I have seen use the appropriate "WMATA Station Manager on Duty" designated spots.

Anonymous said...

So you are aware, WMATA receives no revenue from citations (parking, traffic and criminal) in any jurisdiction it serves...

Anonymous said...

Amazing. When you see flagrant stuff like this, you have to wonder what else is going on that you can't see. The inmates run the prison.

Anonymous said...

Same parking situation at Brookland everyday.

Speaking of lousy Metro employees, our train operator last night (Glenmont bound Red Line @5:00 PM) was clearly talking on her cell phone. Each time she would make an announcement she would leave the mic hot for a bit too long giving us a glimpse of her conversation, which was clearly more important than the safety of her passengers. For example she'd say "Union Station. I mean I like her music and all but..." *click* and a few minutes later "New York Avenue-Gallaudet University. Yeah, that's true. Uh-huh. Yeah..." *click*

Anonymous said...

Yeah I hate that, @8:53. I asked that question to WMATA 8 months ago because every morning when I walk across Old Soper Road outside of the Branch Ave Station I have to dodge all the cars that blow the stop sign into the station. I said "Why not sit there and ticket all these blatant scofflaws to make money?" I got the answer that the $ goes to PG even if they did ticket. I guess one could argue that enforcing all these violations could generate the revenue for the county or local jurisdiction infuse directly into their WMATA budget contribution...I hear there is a way to make things law without voting on them going around,

Matt' said...

I totally agree with you.

However, it is a bit early to appeal to Mr. Sarles; he doesn't start the job until March 29. It's still Catoe's job at this point.

hrh king friday xiii, ret. said...

Here, here!

At the heart of Metro's culture of assholeness is this beleif that customers are supposed to service them.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:03, the parking regulations are already law. And if you're referring to laws enacted by the duly elected representatives of the citizens of DC sitting on the city council, not only has that method been around for, like, forever (damn those Romans), but also shut up, you're not even a resident of DC.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 8:53 AM:

But wouldn't Metro be getting the money from the people who are paying for those spots?

I don't park at Metro so I wouldn't know.

Anonymous said...

@10:52 - I actually am a resident of DC, Mr. Assuming know-it-all. I commute TO Branch Ave for work. Yes, people do live in the city and commute to the suburbs where their jobs are.

And I was making a reference to the health care bill and Speaker Pelosi.


Unsuck DC Metro said...

Let's keep it to Metro, please. Bet there's a health care blog or two out there.

Anonymous said...

Question comes to mind from reading the above original post. HOW the dickens does Khalil get to keep that particular job after all this negative notoriety? I know nobody ever gets fired from Metro but wouldn't they now realize this is not exactly the kind of public representation to even begin to improve their reputation? oh Metro.. Shakespeare could really write a tragedy on this one!

Anonymous said...

Metro employees DO get parking tickets.

The vests is not a guarantee that you won't get a ticket but it does let the Metro police know that they are there to support some major work going on. This work could have started in the middle of the night and extended past the start of the day.

Anonymous said...

@10:31, that is simply not true. Every morning I walk to the station through an empty parking lot. Every evening I walk through a lot filled with nothing but "vested" cars. The "major work" going on is the 9-5 work of Metro employees, not emergency situations. This is Metro employees violating parking rules and getting away with it day-in and day-out, plain and simple. My wife and I half-joke that we need to get an orange vest so we can have free parking at any Metro station.

Photographer Toni said...

Ummm, this pic was taken at 6:08 PM. Not exactly "overnight work that ran long" at that hour.

homertuck said...

This happens even more at White Flint, except the behavior of the Metro employees is even more despicable. There is a parking garage at White Flint, but it's a block away. There is also a handicap parking lot adjacent to the station that Metro employees park at every day. I've taken pictures and send them to UnSuck, but haven't seen anything posted yet. Saw more of the same today. These employees park in non-spots and even park IN THE CLOSEST HANDICAP spots, yet aren't handicap (they just put their vests in the window). If there was someone I could call to have these asshole's cars towed, I'd love to know what it is. I'd call, sit down in a chair and just laugh as their car was towed away.

Stankoniforous 0ne said...

@homertuck, I would think you could call the county or city and they would gladly come and tow those cars. That's like free money for them!

Anonymous said...

@10:31 again..
I can honestly say from personal experience that it is very frustrating to spend an entire day stuck working at a station with very little parking and come out to a 50 parking ticket, vest or no vest.
That said, a little asking around verified what a lot of people here are venting about.
It is one of those instances when those of us who follow the rules shake out heads and ask WTF.

Anonymous said...

Why are employees of the regional public transit authority driving to work? Is it because they know better than anyone that the system is unreliable?

Mike said...

No matter how many times I've called Metro to complain about their employees abusing the Kiss & Ride spaces at Takoma station, it continues to go on.

Saw this guy tonight (3/18/2010) at around 5:30 PM



Mike said...

Reported this to Metro on Thursday, got a response on Friday. The same fucking Jeep was there again this morning at around 6:30 when my wife dropped me off, and was still there around 5:00 PM when she picked me up.

This green Jeep http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_2ZvV0BgOUE0/S1zBk-iVbDI/AAAAAAAAAYg/CLTKE-Ta3rk/s1600-h/kissandride.jpg

Maryland tag #00449M7, CONSTANTLY abuses the Kiss & Ride spaces at Takoma Metro parking. I'd say this vehicle is parked in a Kiss & Ride spot at least two-three times per week, and I can only assume that the owner is a Metro employee, probably the Takoma station manager.

Why does Metro tolerate his abuse? Why are your employees continually taking advantage of their privileges and putting your customers at an inconvenience?

How many times do people have to complain about your employees abusing the system BEFORE YOU DO SOMETHING TO STOP IT????

Also, is it legal for employees to park at metered spaces and leave their Metro vests on the dashboard, thereby parking for free all day? Takoma has very limited parking, yet your employees don't seem to care. Every day, I see at least 2-3 cars with Metro vests on the dashboard parked at meters that are expired. MAKE IT STOP!

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