Friday, May 7, 2010

Is there a Light at the End of the Escalator?

First, the dark. From YK:
I took the Green Line from College Park toward Branch Ave. around 2:30 p.m. on May 6.

After a few stops, a uniformed Metro worker got on and sat at the very end of the car.

Two stops later, another uniformed Metro worker got on and, after seeing the first worker, sat next to him.

My guess is they were escalator repair men.

They started their loud conversation by comparing their supervisors. From there, it escalated (tee hee) into a very loud and rather coarse conversation about how they can come to work and leave work as early or as late as they want, since no one is actually watching.

This may explain why the escalator repairs takes so long.
We asked Metro about accountability among escalator repairmen. Usually, they're alone or in pairs, so no one is directly watching them. Also, since deadlines for the repair of escalators seem ... well ... flexible, how is a repairman's performance measured? What happens if they fail to repair an escalator on time?

Metro's response was interesting.

"The supervision of the escalator/elevator repair teams is currently changing to increase accountability, and they are creating rapid response teams as well."

Metro would provide no further details.

More Metro brake smoke and mirrors or a real change? While more accountability sounds good, Metro is also hiring escalator consultants.

We'll follow up at the blogger round table Monday.

Speaking of the round table, if you have questions you'd like Unsuck to ask interim GM Sarles, email them.


HRH King Friday XIII, Ret. said...

ARE YOU F-ING KIDDING ME? Metro's response is bascially: "You know, we've never really thought about that before. Weird, right? Well, back to sleep."

To all those commenters out there who defend the escalator outages as simply a symptoms of an aging system, consider this blog post a kick in the pants. Stop making excuses for these idiots, and GET ANGRY.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Accountability. Now that's an interesting comment.

Anonymous said...

I used to be a station manager. All they did was sit in the back rooms and eat and smoke. Telling them to stop did no good.
They'd laugh at you.

I had two (very long, think Woodley Park length) escalators out. And 1 running up. A piece of trim came loose on that one. When I asked the guys to do the repair, I was told, "You gotta get a work order." And so I had no escalators running.....

AppleDawg said...

I go through Chinatown every morning and it is absolutely embarrassing how 1-2 escalators are not working EVERY SINGLE MORNING.

I mean, I am walking up one non-working one every morning while the other has been shut down for weeks now. Nevermind that the one that I am walking up was supposed to have been completely fixed months ago b/c it was shut down like the other side is now....yet neither work

It is a damn joke

Ash said...


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Grad student

Anonymous said...

The escalators at Federal Center SW have not been working for 3 weeks now. And the station manager is so rude to people asking for help with the fare cards... ridamndiculous

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