Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who Takes Metro?

RED LINE ALERT: dcfireems Metro - btwn Woodley Park Station & Dupont Circle Station - 2400 blk Conn Av NW - fire reported in tunnel

mowend Van ness is chaos. @unsuckdcmetro

This tweet got a reader thinking:

@HashimMiles I think POTUS should take @wmata from Farragut West to Capitol South for the #SOTU just to see how F*cked up it really is...

From Robert:

The problem with Metro and other subways in this country is that people like Obama, OK, well maybe it wouldn't be prudent of safe for him to take the Metro (which is sad on another level), but what I'm getting at is that the influential people in this country don't take transit. I'm not talking mega-rich celebrities.

Think about it. Have you ever seen anyone in the military above a major--maybe a colonel--on the Metro?

Senior federal workers get parking spaces, and many higher ups in private companies do as well. Do our politicians ride Metro?

People on that level all get parking spaces or have drivers, so why should they care if Metro sucks? I live in Maryland, and my senator, Barbara Mikulski, pays a lot of lip service to improving Metro, but as a Red Line rider, I don't really see any fruit borne of her efforts. Does she even take Metro? I don't know, but I doubt it.

Until that mentality changes, neither will Metro.

Oh, and by the way Mr. President, we're not far from pat downs on Metro.

Here are the relevant passages from the State of the Union speech:

The third step in winning the future is rebuilding America. To attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information – from high-speed rail to high-speed internet.

Our infrastructure used to be the best – but our lead has slipped. South Korean homes now have greater internet access than we do. Countries in Europe and Russia invest more in their roads and railways than we do. China is building faster trains and newer airports. Meanwhile, when our own engineers graded our nation’s infrastructure, they gave us a “D.”

We have to do better. America is the nation that built the transcontinental railroad, brought electricity to rural communities, and constructed the interstate highway system. The jobs created by these projects didn’t just come from laying down tracks or pavement. They came from businesses that opened near a town’s new train station or the new off-ramp.

Over the last two years, we have begun rebuilding for the 21st century, a project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the hard-hit construction industry. Tonight, I’m proposing that we redouble these efforts.

We will put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. We will make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based on what’s best for the economy, not politicians.

Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying – without the pat-down. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway.

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