We tag Metrorail pretty good about its many shortcomings these days, so when they get it right, fairness -- plus the desire to reinforce unsucky behavior -- says we should note that, too.
Yesterday, as I descended into the bowels of Metro Center, for reasons not clear, there was some bad gapping between Vienna-bound Orange Line trains. (Unfortunately, nothing new there these days.)
With the next Orange Line many agonizing minutes away, with the Red Line hordes pouring down the stairs like water into the hold, and with rush hour (excuse me, "regular" hour, as Metro likes to put it.) still having another half hour to go, conditions were brewing for a good fail. Maybe not an epic fail, but one Metro could nevertheless be proud of.
Except it didn't happen. As a Blue Line train sat in Federal Triangle station, preparing to make its final assault on Metro Center, it magically transformed, at the direction of Central Control, from Blue to Orange.
This made perfect sense. For every Orange Line train that limps out of Metro Center jammed to the rafters, Blue Line trains often offer the spacious accommodations of a bygone era.
By switching the train from Blue to Orange, Metro could immediately sweep lots of people off the Metro Center platform, and stem the growing tide. And while a few Blue Line riders had to get off and transfer trains, there was another Blue Line train not far behind. Minutes lost for these passengers: probably about three.
So, somebody at Metro was on the ball, seeing that an easy switch could serve the needs of the many, while not doing serious harm to the needs of the few(er). Like Peyton Manning, Central Control called an audible, dodged the blitz, and the play went for a big gain.
It'd be nice to see more of this kind of thinking in action.
In talking later with the Ms. (also a daily rider), it turns out Metro pulled the same Blue-to-Orange switch at least once before my ride, about 15-20 minutes earlier. So, while not the first instance the technique was employed yesterday, my experience was still pretty slick.
More by CS:
- Metro hosts blogger round table
- Catoe: Show us you get it
- Rules don't apply
- Vienna's creepy tower
- Doors Closing
- Moving ... Backwards
- "Worst NTSB record in the nation" (Delmarvanow.com)
- 2011 budget WARNING WMATA PDFs often crash Firefox Poss. fare increases of "25 cents per Metrobus trip and an approximately 15 percent increase in Metrorail fares during the peak and off-peak hours" (WMATA) Check out the proposed cuts (flickr)
- Metro taking safety steps (AP)
- Hey Graham, WMATA sucked before 6/22. That was just when it started getting the scrutiny [skroot-n-ee] it deserved. (WMATA)