Thursday, April 29, 2010

Metro's Penalty Box




Well, the Caps' season is abruptly over, but have you ever been stuck in the Metro penalty box?

It sucks.

From Tina:
On some cars--these photos are from a 6000-series car--there are areas at the end where there is a rider dead zone. There is nothing to hold onto apart from the ceiling or a long, awkward reach to a pole or seat rail. Standing here on a jerky ride is rough. The back two seats don't even have hand rails on them.

If you're short, forget about it.

This area is avoided by most Metro pros, but it could easily hold several more people if there was something to hold onto. There's probably a $20 DIY fix, but in Metro dollars, it would probably cost millions.


Other items:
Metro ridership falling (Examiner)

25 comments:

Megan said...

I'm 5'3". I hate these trains. Last winter, during a particularly harsh stop on the red line, I fell over. And got laughed at a few grey haired men in suits. Who were all sitting. Now, I'm in perfectly good health and don't need a seat given up for me, but I would love to be able to hold on to something so I don't fall.

Anonymous said...

All the more reason to move to the center of the car. It's still not very standing friendly there either.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for finally pointing this out. I don't understand why they thought it would be good to design a car to hold more people, but not design anything for those people to hold on to??

Anonymous said...

this sometimes happens if you're crammed by a door, too. but at least you can try to use the plastic wall as support. i hate the no-mans-land at the end!!!

Anonymous said...

The Metro cars with the plastic straps and metal handles are much easier to deal with during crowding

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to figure out why every single seat, or possibly alternating seats on each side of the aisle, doesn't have a vertical pole to hang on to. If those polls were available in the center of the car, likely more people would move in. As it is, holding on anywhere but near the doors is like riding a rodeo horse.

Anonymous said...

Such entitlement! Why not learn to maintain balance? Keep a low center of gravity and shift your weight with the movement of the train. It's quite simple for any experienced transit rider.

Anonymous said...

They did that on purpose, to move people to the center of the car. Works great, assuming the car isn't packed...oh yeah, which it ALWAYS IS now.

Metro fail #7,862.

Tina said...

10:48
It's not entitlement, it's simply pointing out Metro stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Clearly Anon 10:48 doesn't ride the same Metro we all do. I can stand on trains in NY, Boston, SF, and Hong Kong (and almost all airport trains), and used to be able to stand on the DC Metro, without holding on. No more in the days of manual operation. Heck, I've almost lost it leaning against a wall these days, it's sometimes that bad.

Anonymous said...

Oh,yeah, and things would be a lot better in pic #2 is Ms. Green Jacket didn't insist on getting so friendly with that pole. Really, people!

Anonymous said...

Look closer -- Ms. Green Jacket isn't even touching the pole. She's just getting pushed close to it because Mr. Sports Jacket is in her private space. And I can't blame him; he can barely stand, having to reach that far!

Also it's not a pole, but one of those weird middle-door-corralling gates.

Anonymous said...

Amen, anon@10:38, amen. Every single seat should have a vertical pole attached to it. If you watch where people stand on metro, you notice that everyone tries to gather around the poles where possible because they are the best things to hold onto. Metro added more of those poles in the newest series of cars, but they still didn't put a pole on every seat, which is just a ridiculous missed opportunity.
And yes, anon@10:50 is right, metro intentionally removed windscreens and poles near the doors to discourage people from standing there. This was sensible around, oh, maybe 15 years ago, when there were manageable numbers of standees and the big problem was the fact that they wouldn't move to the center of the train, out of the way. But by the time Metro did their expensive studies, redesigned the cars, and got them built and put into use, crowding had gotten so bad that the center of the trains were consistently full of standees and people were standing everywhere they could. So the new cars are a solution to a problem that metro doesn't have any more, but they fail at addressing the current need to allow the maximum number of people to stand.

Anon 10:54 said...

I disagree, 11:34. She appears to be leaning on the pole with her right shoulder so that she can read her book with two hands (there is a pole next to the windscreen if you look closely). If she were to turn and face the pole or have her back to it, or even take half a step away from the pole towards the camera, and hold on with one hand instead of leaning half her body into it, the guy could get a little closer to the pole and hold on more comfortably.

Anonymous said...

Speaking from the other side of the height range (6'4") I hate those straps. I am always getting slapped in the face. I even bounce my head off of the regular ceiling poles.

I do feel for really short people though.

Anonymous said...

Also of note: In addition to wanting for handholds, the penalty box areas at the ends of the cabs also suffer an AC deficit, so that in the summer, it's noticeably warmer in those portions of the car.

Anonymous said...

Responding to Anon 10:37's comment that the straps are easier to deal with and Anon 10:48's comment about learning balance. SOME of us are 5'3 and have vertigo. I WOULD LOVE to learn better balance but God decreed my body was not to be that way. From the tone of your comment, 10:48, I also fully expect you would be one of those who'd not give up your seat for me, even though I have white hair and am an older person while you have that perfect in-born balance.

Some readers of this blog seem totally out of touch with the world - not all of us are as perfect as the rest of you. (Or worse, dare I say it... assumptions! When you assume...)

I cannot reach the straps even if I COULD balance with them. By the way, I am an experienced transit rider. Been riding since the 70's. Perhaps that is why I sit here able to realize the challenges others might face that I, myself, might not?

(I will step down from my soap box now and wonder how many are old enough to understand the metaphor.)

maddie said...

I absolutely HATE it when I can't grab onto anything.
I'm rather short and skinny, so on crowded trains I get jostled about a lot. Apologizing to people every 2 minutes about ramming into them isn't exactly fun.

http://hellointerloper.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

even if you're tall enough to press your palm against the ceiling, it's not always enough stability during some of the more jerky rides.

Throw a bar on there Metro.

jellomania said...

At 5'4", if i'm in a place where all the lower grab spots are taken, but there are plenty overhead I will not hesitate to ask someone taller if we could either trade places, or at least if they could grab overhead so I can actually hold onto something. I've never had someone refuse me.

That said, metro certainly could've planned this better.

Aaron said...

Riding a crowded 7000 series train car kinda reminds me of that horrific feeling I got as a kid when the barber leaned over and smushed his genitals into my shoulder. Guys out there-you know what I'm talking about. Except now, I'm surrounded on a train by 30 "barbers." On the positive side of the ledger, I'm an adult now and can pay for a woman to cut my hair.

Caity Bierman said...

I know NYC subway isn't the cleanest (Even though their new cars are nice) but they are certainly rider and rush hour friendly. They need to get rid of the stupid seating layout and make it more varied or just up against the walls and have proper height poles for holding on, and more of the vertical poles throughout the train. I don't see why they aren't at every row of seats.

Ben Schumin said...

Metro has tried addressing the dead zones in the "blind" end of the cars when they experimented on Breda 3283 back in 2007-2008. Observe:

http://www.schuminweb.com/schumin-web/journal/permalink.php?id=956

As you can see, they installed a double handrail in that back section, and it did a wonderful job in addressing the handhold situation. Why Metro hasn't retrofitted the rest of the cars with this is beyond me, because the Rohrs (1000-Series), all three series of Bredas (2000, 3000, 4000-Series), and the CAFs (5000-Series) could all support such an addition the same way right out of the box due to the position of the floor-to-ceiling poles. The Alstoms (6000-Series) would require a different solution because there are no poles in the positions needed to implement the same solution there. But I'm sure it's not insurmountable.

Unsuck DC Metro said...

Great comment.

Anonymous said...

Ok, does anyone else realize what would happen every day during rush hour if Metro placed bars in between the two seats as so many people are suggesting??? People lucky enough to get the seats will be decapitated by overhanging arms of jerks holding onto the poles in the middle on ALL sides of them. Those fortunate enough to keep their heads intact will never make it out of their seats in time to get out of the doors once they reach their stop. Think, people-THINK! These are some of the most inconsiderate, selfish people on Earth during rush hour so making more options for them to crowd onto the trains will only worsen the situation.

Post a Comment

 
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License.
Site Meter