Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Should Metro Encourage this Rider Behavior Instead?

From DF:

During rush hour, when so many trains are so jam packed, I intentionally let some pass until I find one empty enough to suit me. Sometimes, it's just so I can stand without being scrunched against four other people, and other times, it's so I can sit. I have a long ride, from Dupont all the way out to Shady Grove, so I'd kind of prefer not to stand all the way.

For some reason, the other night, the trains were running very slowly. Maybe because of the hostage situation in Silver Spring, but the trains seemed to be 9-12 minutes apart at rush hour, according to the sign.

So, I walked up and down the platform a couple of times, and when I returned to the front end, where I usually wait, I decided to sit and read a book. There's no bench there, so I sat on the floor.

I had been sitting for just a few minutes when a bright light was shone on me from the mezzanine level. A voice asked me if I was getting on the train.

I looked around - no train in sight. I said, "sure, when it gets here."

The light remained.

Then, I was told I needed to get on the train, that I had been seen waiting for 20 minutes.

I said I planned to wait for a train that wasn't jam packed. I was told again that I had better get on the next one.

Is waiting for a train suddenly a crime?

"Or else what?" I asked. I was getting a teeny bit irritated.

Or else I'd be told to leave the station, was the reply.

Now, the officer - and it was an officer - was a level above me, so I couldn't see her badge for a name or number, and I didn't want to ask. (I know, shame on me.) I am not even certain which branch the officer was from, but probably Metro itself.

So what did I do?

I put my earphones back on, got up, and walked to the back end of the platform, where I proceeded to let three more trains go by before finally getting on.

There you have it. Apparently, you are not permitted to wait for a train for too long.

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