Monday, October 11, 2010

Dear Mr. Sarles

From Scott, who CCed us on a letter to Metro interim GM Richard Sarles:
Dear Mr. Sarles,

I am an avid Metro rider, both bus and train. I have in the past called WMATA both to compliment and to complain. Now, I am unable to do either as phone calls hit automated responses and the newer red buses no longer advertise a compliment or complaint telephone number on them. There is only the standard automated customer service number beside the front door.

In interviews, time and again, you have stated that Safety is priority one. Well, I need to share with you because nobody else at WMATA seems to want to hear complaints any more. On Sunday, October 10th, at 1:33pm as I was stopping at a yellow light going north on Wisconsin Avenue, a Metrobus, (Route 96, Bus Number 6494, License plate number B43579) coming south on Wisconsin Avenue, NW, and turning left onto Woodley Road, NW, passed a car (on the left side into oncoming traffic) that was also turning left. The car instead of being able to make his left turn, had to hit his breaks to avoid hitting the side of the bus which was illegally passing him. Now I do not know if the driver just wanted "to make the light" or was late to watch the Redskins game, but he is dangerous and should not be behind the wheel of a public transportation vehicle until properly trained.

The driver performing unsafe and actually illegal driving habits is not being reprimanded because nobody is willing to take down the report. The negative organizational culture of WMATA at this point has to strong a grip on the employees and this should not have to be accepted by anybody. I ended up following this bus down Woodley Road, NW, left on Cathedral, until it turned right on 29th. Not once did the driver come to a complete stop at any stop signs. Also, while they did use a blinker at Cathedral, no blinker was used when turning right onto 29th Street, NW. The complete stop verses no complete stop and blinker use is irrelevant to my complaint, but it shows the bigger issue at hand of the driver's lack of concern over safety.

I have copied the blogs Greater Greater Washington, UnSuck DC Metro, as well as Dr. Gridlock at the Washington Post and the television station WJLA ABC 7 on this email. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. If you have the Compliment and Complaint numbers installed on the red buses, this would be appreciated as well.

Scott S.
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