Monday, July 12, 2010

Near Riot Conditions at Dupont


@wfpman Hello @unsuckdcmetro #wmata major #fail sys wide delays and dupont circle no up escalators. People shouting. http://yfrog.us/jkdclz

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

god Metro sucks so much on so many levels. How the hell can they not keep those escalators running? I mean seriously. I'm starting to think it's the manufacturer's fault, not Metro's.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, this is a mistake. According to this article, WMATA has been successfully modernizing its escalators for years. They are all running perfectly! (Warning: WMATA groupthink)

http://www.gannettfleming.com/newsroom/2006/WMATA-ElevatorWorld03-2006.pdf

Anonymous said...

It's always Metro's fault. NEVER FORGET THAT.

J said...

Out of curiosity, how come no one is using the staircase?

I had to deal with Orange Line suck this morning. A horse of a different color..

J said...

Out of curiosity, how come no one is using the staircase?

I had to deal with the Orange line this morning, which was a different kind of suck, thankfully.

Meh. said...

That's not very riot-y.

It is full of suck, but not riot.

Anonymous said...

Escalators at BOTH Dupont and Q street exits were not working. Perhaps the most ridiculous part? There was one set of down escalators running at Q street. WTF?!

Anonymous said...

Weren't those "fixed" recently?

saber_saw25 said...

At least the station manager was out there trying to do something. I have seen to many situations (Foggy Bottom can be a train wreck) where they just don't do anything.

Kara said...

@10:42 there are no staircases at DuPont

Do you mean the middle escalator? Since a metro person was there he must have designated it as down ... although we see people walking down at least one of the other escalators too.

I have hiked those things when they are down. Not fun at all as most people can not go up them without taking a break. Fortunately one was going up when I went through about 7:30 this morning (did not look at the others) as is like russian roulette sometimes.

Kara said...

@10:52
Yes, there was a week where we actually saw escapeeps all over the western red line .... then they disappeared again. I am guessing their bosses stopped looking at them.

Anonymous said...

There is no staircase at either entrance of Dupont Circle. The middle staircase is probably being "fixed" which is why no one is able to take it. "Fixed" meaning a yellow sign saying "men at work" or something close to that.

I think if the Metro was fully operational, it would be the final sign that we are heading toward the end of the world.

Anonymous said...

I was there. The station manager did little to communicate what was going on besides occasionally yell at people to stop/start walking up/down. There didn't appear to be anyone at the top of the escalator helping to stop people from trying to come down. Overall, a nasty scene. Once the manager turned the right hand escalator one, the women who was muttering about fare increases snapped, "Thanks for nothing!" and marched up.

GrapesOfRough said...

Oh god the thought of walking up the escalators at Dupont makes the fat in my ass cry.

Anonymous said...

The middle escalator was actually being worked on. I'm not sure if people moved the barricade themselves or if the station manager did, but people who had walked all the way to the top had to go back down and then go up one of the others because the last 5-8 feet of escalator had been removed, thus leaving a gaping hole! Some people were climbing over the railing to get to the other escalator. It was insane, but a classic failure by Metro. Pay more, get less service!
This just sparked an idea for a new fee they could charge- a fee for using the escalator! They'd fix the budget problems off of Dupont and Rosslyn alone!

Liz @ Dogs and Wine said...

@GrapesOfRough

Literally LOL'd. <3

Anonymous said...

Everyday on my commute from Union Station to Rosslyn the escalators are not working. Either at Union Station or Rosslyn.

Anonymous said...

To 11:25 Anoymous: And what did you say during this incident? Nothing? Perhaps if you would speak up instead of just standing back and letting other people complain on your behalf the escalators would be maintained and working. It takes guts to stand up in the face of a crowd and voice dissatisfaction, what did your presence at the station this morning accomplish? How about your comment here, what did it accomplish except to describe the woman who did speak up as muttering and snapping? Did you appreciate that the escalators were eventually turned back on, I suspect because of the uproar? Probably not, but I'm sure you gladly rode it once it was on.

saber_saw25 said...

@ 12:43

I think you are missing the point, it should have never come to that point. It is not our jobs as riders of Metro to do the job we are paying money for other people to do. If the cooks at McDonalds make my hamburger wrong I don't run back there to make it myself.

John said...

I think this site should set up a REAL survey of how many escalators are broken in this system. WMATA came out with some BOGUS study that said 11 percent are not functioning. We all know that is complete and utter BS and it would be good to have a counter study to their nonsense.

Lynette Ray said...

I was there. At the head of the line up the far right escalator, with a woman on crutches a few steps above me. What WERE they THINKING! How could they POSSIBLY turn the escalators off at rush hour - or at any time? Metro clearly has no mind to lose. Metro is begging for a metro rage incident - and I hope I am not a victim of whoever goes off his head!

Ben Schumin said...

I actually received a response back from WMATA customer service today regarding one of the platform escalators, and I think it actually shines some light on what's going on with Dupont's chronic escalator issues:

*****

Dear Mr. Schumin:

Thank you for contacting us regarding escalators at Dupont Circle station. We apologize for the delinquent response to your concern. We have been inundated with rail correspondence. We recommend contacting us via telephone when urgent information is shared or needed.

We regret the inconvenience of the escalator outages to you and other customers. We recognize that the performance of our escalators is a major source of frustration for our customers. Escalator performance has a high level of organizational attention, and we have allotted multiple resources to resolve our escalator concerns. The challenge Metro faces in maintaining these escalators is that the units at Dupont Circle were built by a British manufacturer that is no longer in existence. Unfortunately, due to this fact, it is very difficult to provide maintenance support and parts for these units. No matter the nature of the repair, Metro faces difficulty locating a repair company as well as a parts manufacturer for the units. To remedy the escalator problems at Dupont Circle, as budget constraints allow, the units are being scheduled for a complete renovation. We are working hard to have the escalators at Dupont repaired as quickly as possible, but the units cannot be turned on or returned to service until we deem them safe to operate.

At Metro, it is our intent to provide safe and reliable service to our customers and we recognize that accountability stretches across all levels of staff for the safety of customers and employees. Thank you for your patience and for sharing your comments with us.

[trim out bit about calling customer service]

Sincerely,

Jeannie Greene-Barr
Rail Customer Service

Case # 563474

*****

So in other words, don't expect the Dupont situation to get better any time soon, I'm afraid.

John said...

Also I think we need to really start going after the guy who is charge of the escalators throughout the whole metro system. He is an incompetent POS who refuses to talk to the press.

Telecomedian said...

it probably would be faster to get off at Farragut and walk the streets. What a mess - never thought I'd be grateful to only have to fight the tourists at Smithsonian.

Anonymous said...

When I was in South Africa, commuters became fed up with poor rail service.....so they burned down the train station in Pretoria (their capital city). We might do the same if our stations weren't made of concrete. (Maybe WMATA is smarter than I think)

Anonymous said...

And once again you have the post an hour before the Washington Post (and the same video), yet they do not credit your site....

Anonymous said...

@Ben Schumin:

I think they're recycling the same thing they've been using for years, because I remember reading the same excuse (British company out of business) about 10 years ago when there were major problems with the escalators.

Dupont's escalators have been problematic since I moved here a dozen years ago, so why isn't the complete renovation of them a higher priority for such a busy station with such long escalators? I think Metro is just providing their usual BS to cover the fact that they couldn't run a toy railroad competently.

Kara said...

@John
If a real survey were done it should be weighted by station use. To use WMATA's numbers 10% of escalators are down ... but it makes a big difference if that 10% are the busiest stations or ones relatively few people use.

For bonus points, weight even more if multiple escalators in the station are down.

Anonymous said...

Are you ****ing serious, people?! WALK up the damned stairs. Yes, I know there's a lot of them. Do your part to fight to obesity epidemic. Don't just stand there like a bunch of fattened cattle waiting to be lifted onto the slaughter truck.

In Chicago most of the stations don't even HAVE escalators. So far as I know, no one has died from taking the stairs.

DMC in DC said...

"with a woman on crutches a few steps above me."

People with injuries or disabilities, or the elderly will have problems going up the length of those stairs. This is the problem when escalators are turned off. I have had two knee surgeries, and while I can work the knees a little, going up those stairs is no easy process for me and I would have to take it extremely slow, thus delaying every single person behind me. :( That is likely what causes such a bottle neck.

Every time I see a metro escalator down and an old person with a cane struggling, or someone with a physical handicap... it makes me want to pound all those at Metro who make these asinine decisions.

Anonymous said...

I was there. The station manager wouldn't let people up since he was trying to restart the escalators but couldn't while people were on it. Some people did start walking up one while he worked on another one. People kept walking down from street level on the one he was trying to s tart so that made it even a longer wait... there should have been someone at the street level and then the station manager wouldn't have had to yell.

Anonymous said...

seriously 3:15? the last time this happened I watched a woman pass out and had to be carried up and shortly after a man had a heart attack at the top of the stairs. Several years ago, a man did die on those stairs and metro was sued. Why don't you go back to chicago you pig!

DMC in DC said...

"So far as I know, no one has died from taking the stairs."

Did you even read the comment about the woman on crutches. Probably not, and after all, it is so much easier just to be callous and ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Fatties need to porkify themselves up the stairs. Also WMATA should have its special-ed-manager waddle themselves on over to the station and give piggy back rides to the most enfeebled.

Anonymous said...

The elderly, infirm, and unhealthy have had it too good for too long. Not only should they walk up the escalators, but they should do so carrying Anonymous 3:15's shoulder chip on their backs all the way up. If you can't walk up some of the longest escalators in the western hemisphere, you shouldn't use the metro at all.

John said...

@Anonymous 3:25, the issue is that people are going up and down the same escalator, and it becomes chaotic.

Anonymous said...

@3:15

Are any of the stairs in Chicago almost 200 feet long?

We're not talking 15 or 20 steps. These escalators are several stories high, with no landings. It's not reasonable to expect people to climb them.

Anonymous said...

I was actually there this morning when this video would've been filmed (I saw the woman who was yelling when I was in the station). To make matters worse, the train operator for red line to SG closed the doors before people were off the train leaving my girlfriend and at least 8 other people in one of the cars at the back of the train. There was even a WMATA employee who got stuck on the train because he closed the doors early!

Anonymous said...

I'm in pretty good shape, and I've walked up the length of these escalators while they're working. Let me tell you, you're more than a little winded when you get to the top.

Kara said...

Now this afternoon it is Van Ness .... which has longer escalators than Dupont's south exit.

Anonymous said...

I have walk up the Dupont Circle escalators every day for the last three years (I consider it a morning wake-up). I've walked up it many times when it's been broken, too. It is a haul. I do not recommend it for anyone who isn't in decent shape. The middle escalator in this video was closed off with several steps removed, as someone noted. The issue for me this morning was the lack of communication and the borderline-dangerous crowding of people as more trains came into the station, and, frankly, no way to get people out of the station if there had been an emergency.

To think we are in the nation's capitol without a way to get hundreds/thousands of people out of the metro system in case of fire or a terrorist attack is a freaking joke. I am considering taking a job in MD and this is a major factor in my decision-making process. Not to mention the fare hikes!

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's quite a riot there. I'd fear for my life if I found myself among all those people standing and walking slowly and occasionally raising their voices a little.

Anonymous said...

This is absurd. I once arrived from Union Station with a big suitcase to this same situation and I actually had to haul it up the stairs. Taking the train to another station and cabbing it was the only other option - and that would have required waiting 20 minutes or more for another train on a sunday night. Really, what a disgrace the Metro is.

Anonymous said...

UNBELIEVABLE. I was there tonight. This video you see is after the Metro/police/fire put gates at the TOP AND BOTTOM of the middle escalator, BLOCKING THOSE OF US WHO WERE ON THE MIDDLE escalators and preventing us from going up or down or exiting.. we couldn't even move.

Literally it was the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. There was an absolute standstill on the middle stairs because we couldn't go down and we couldnt go up after the f*cking blocked us in. After 30 min on the middle escalators, when we finally got to the top, we had to jump over the handrails to get to the right staircase to get out of the metro station. This included all the elderly people, women in skirts and anyone with disabilities (but who could still take the stairs). Evenmore unbelievable, Firefighters and Police officers were just watching all of us STUCK on the middle staircase. At the top was a firefighter who was not even helping people jump over the railing onto the next staircase. I had to help a woman who was in a skirt and twice my size (I am a thin young woman) because she was too short and no one (Like the firefighters!!) were helping her jump over the damn railing.

AND this whole time, firegfighters and police were taking the left escalator down (as the left escalator was working.. going down. Seriously). It was UNBELIEVABLE.

Clearly if the Police/Firefighters and Metro can't get the riders out of an escalator jam, we are FUCKED for a real fire or Jesus forbid, a terrorist attack.

I want to reiterate that the middle escalator was broken and FILLED with people who were trying to walk up and exit and all of a sudden, the genius metro and emergency workers put up those big gates blocking at BOTH the top and bottom of our escalator so we could neither go up (to exit) or down (to get on the right escalator).

One guy even jumped to the left escalator, which again was working, going down, only with firefighters who were hanging out probably shooting the shit watching the rest of us stranded on the broken escalator, and he ran all the way up that thing (backwards) and beat the rest of us who were stranded on the middle escalator.

INCOMPETENT is how you spell Metro and the emergency crew who were there tonight.

WTF!!!!!!

Unsuck DC Metro said...

9:18:

are you talking about the afternoon fire? http://unsuckdcmetro.blogspot.com/2010/07/super-fun-happy-slide.html

Anonymous said...

Yes! Sorry... I was so distracted by how many hard hats were just standing around doing nothing to help in the super slide video, that I posted on the wrong entry. My "I'm stuck on the escalator and I can't get off" rant is about the evening dupont metro escalator fire (I was there around 5:45 or so).

Unsuck DC Metro said...

Mind sticking it up there?:)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I was the guy that jumped to the left escalator going down and ran up it. We complain how slow those escalators are, but wow. I was feeling that burn for a while. The whole thing was ridiculous. And those firefighters really were just shooting the shit at the top. It was kind of awkward when I popped out in the middle of them. ~Alex

Scarlett said...

on Saturday - IN THE POURING RAIN WITH LUGGAGE total BS. UUUGGGHHHH

Jason said...

I find it frustrating to see all the comments using language with "BS" "Stupid" and such directed at Metro and their ability to maintain the system. Yes, fine, if you can't handle the steps then be frustrated with the situation. But I lose any respect for many of the posters here with such immature behavior. I would be that no one on this post has any idea how Metro operates or the challenges of transporting 700,000 + users a day. It is a logistical nightmare only made worse by the budget crunch. Many people here could stand to grow up and behave like the professionals they present themselves to be. Very little of this criticism is constructive and is mostly just embarrassing to the poster.

As a side note, I just had knee surgery 16 weeks ago where 4 inches of bone was cut out and two screws added... I walked up the stairs and would do it again and again just to shut any of you up. If you think Metro is bad try some of the nations other rail systems.

Cheers

thanbo said...

They have trouble getting parts? Does the WMATA have a machine shop? Can they get the engineering drawings for the escalators? They should be able to *make* their own parts.

Anonymous said...

Dupont has ALWAYS has issues with the Dupont escalators. That was when they had contractors maintaining them on a continuous effort. The problem in Dupont is the amount of traffic and wear an tear. So in an effort to save money they cancelled the contract with the contractors and decided to maintain them themselves when they couldn't handle the 10% they maintained in house before the contractor was let go. Stoopid move on their part.

Anonymous said...

Unsuck DC Metro-

"Near Riot Conditions" is an irresponsible exaggeration. Careful there.

Anonymous said...

To Jason: Dallas? Charlotte? LA? Minneapolis? Rail systems are MUCH nicer than DC's Metro. Let's not even bring up the ones over in Europe. Please spare us. You must be on Metro's payroll. Go away!

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