Monday, February 7, 2011

Turnstile Tailgaters

Photo: M. Hoek

Anyone else experiencing this?

From Shaun:
My normal commute is Woodley Park to Cheverly, which I make every day around 8 a.m.

For the third time in the last few weeks, I have experienced a tailgater as I exited the station.

It has never been the same person.

The first time, I wasn't really paying attention but noticed a gentlemen walking rather fast to get behind me at the turnstile only to slowly walk to the escalator. It seems he was only in a rush to be behind me as I swiped my SmarTrip.

The second time, I noticed something similar and watched as the passenger swiped a blank paper card behind me. I mentioned something to the attendant, but they just shrugged and said "what do you want us to do?"

The other day, I saw a gentlemen hanging out at the platform escalator, waiting to be the last up. When I started walking up the escalator, he hurried to get behind me and tail me to the exit booth. I slowed down, tried to take my time, but he still managed to squeeze behind me as the turnstiles closed.

I would like to make the assumption that these people are just really good at swipping their SmarTrips, but this last time, the gentleman didn't even pretend to swipe a card. He just tailed me through.

This is probably only a small amount of revenue lost by Metro--incomparable to broken machines and bus fare boxes--but it still is frustrating when I pay so much to ride the system, just to have others cheat it.

I know there will always be cheaters but I'm curious what do other passengers do when they notice tailgaters.
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