Tuesday, April 13, 2010
What do you think of Metro's actions and its subsequent response to the complaint?
Due to the Cherry Blossom crowds, there were Metro employees directing people to file to the end of the platform at the Smithsonian station. However, at about 4 p.m. on April 4, I was traveling with my girlfriend's 73-year-old grandmother, and she was having a hard time walking after a long day. The far end of the Vienna-bound platform was full, so we stopped at the first available bench we could find. My girlfriend's mother was sitting, and both my girlfriend and I were standing next to her. A female Metro employee was standing with a megaphone at the base of the escalator on the Independence Ave. side and, after seeing us at the bench, turned the megaphone on us, telling us to get up and move to the end.
We protested because my girlfriend's grandma really needed to stay off her feet. The Metro employee was having none of it. She kept on telling her to get up and move along, and that there were benches at the end of the platform. We reluctantly moved, and, when we got to the end of the platform, there were no available benches.
My girlfriend's grandmother, who has diabetes and swollen feet, was forced to stand for 12 minutes.
If this employee can be identified (at the time I was too flabbergasted to ask her for her identifying information) I'd like for her to be reprimanded and be instructed to show a little concern for Metro passengers.
Either way, I would like an apology for the way she was treated, and an assurance that the WMATA will take steps to ensure this doesn't happen again.
Your email was received by Metro's Rail Transportation Customer Service. The Cherry Blossom Festival always draws large crowds using Metro Rail. The beautiful weather encouraged even a larger turnout. One of the functions of our employees is to keep the ridership moving along to minimize congestion, and be safety conscious. I apologize on behalf of Metro that your party, which included a 73 year old diabetic with swollen feet, was strongly encouraged to move with the flow of the crowd to the end of the platform. Actions taken by our employees are not to cause a discomfort; however, paths must be clear. Congestion during events like this is the result of our valued tourist, and infrequent riders being unfamiliar with the area.
A suggestion for future events of this nature would be to perhaps have this senior in a wheelchair, which would prevent her feet from swelling as much, and provide greater comfort during her entire outing.
Thank you for riding Metro.
Customer Service Representative
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