Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ballston Escalator SNAFU

From a reader:
Dear. Mr. Sarles,

The Ballston Metro station this morning had all, and I mean ALL EIGHT escalators dead as of 8:05. None were working. There were no signs nor announcements to alert riders they had four flights of escalator stairs to walk up. There were no attendants around at all for crises or assistance. Not one.

As I struggled up the fourth escalator, wondering if I could actually reach the top, an elderly lady farther up from me suddenly stopped. She burst into tears and I heard her say, "I cannot make it. I cannot go down. What am I going to do?"

Two people helped her up the remaining steps. I saw them at the top, she was barely able to stand and was still crying. (I hope they were calling 911 for her.)

I saw two elderly men with canes struggling up.

I saw one woman on crutches staring up at the last set of escalators not even moving. She looked quite desperate. I believe she turned around with her crutches to try to struggle down the escalator steps probably hoping to make it to the elevator. For all I know, she's still at it.

At least one person who made it all the way up stopped at the very top and was so winded he could not even get out of anyone else's way.

During this entire time, not one Metro employee was to be seen.

No announcements, signs or warnings were provided for anyone that every single escalator was dead.


So I ask you, Mr. Sarles, since you are now officially GM, What is Metro's excuse this time? All of the attendants had to pee at the same time and were "busy?"

No paper and crayons available to post a sign alerting that if you cannot handle three flights of escalator stairs you should use the elevator? (This, of course, is after you have made it up the dead platform escalator steps.)

No person at all on staff able to stand there and shout out, "Escalators dead! Elevators this way!"?

At 65, could YOU have made it up four flights of dead escalators steps? Would you be one of those we needed to call 911 for? Or would you be like me: sitting here in serious knee pain wondering how I am going to make it through the rest of the day?

Mr. Sarles, I await your response to this. To so blatantly, and with total disregard, put riders lives in jeopardy without one lame attempt to be proactive is not only deplorable, it is downright appalling.

Shame on Metro.

--Orange Line Rider since 1977

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