Monday, June 27, 2011

Full Metal Flacking?

From Rob:
I don't know why I haven't seen any discussion of Metro's "new approach" to weekend maintenance in any of the mainstream media, and why I haven't seen it on this blog.

I know Metro sucks on weekends. I gave up taking it on the weekends long ago.

I know why they suck on the weekends. For decades they flushed our money down a toilet and didn't keep the trains and tracks "in a state of good repair."

That pisses me off to no end, but I get it.

What I really don't get is how the new approach is going to "inconvenience fewer customers?"

Instead of single tracking, now, Metro is going to close clusters of stations where work is to be done and provide shuttle bus service around the closed stations.

So let me get this straight. Entire trains are going to offload at a station, all those people are going to leave the station at once, catch a bus, ride to the next station that's open, disembark at once and then re-board Metro at once?


And Metro adds an extra layer of BS, saying the rest of the system will operate at "near normal weekend service." Do they mean weekend service now or before all of this started?

What a joke.

To provide normal weekend service around the unaffected areas, you'd have to have a precision outfit, and anyone who rides Metro knows it's anything but. They can't even space trains right in their core business hours--rush hour.

But what really chafes me most about this whole thing is the dishonesty of it. I think it's probably true that the new approach will be safer for Metro track workers, which is great. I'm less sure it will "fix" Metro sooner. But c'mon Metro, don't try to con me into thinking you're going to be safer, faster AND inconvenience me less. I'd respect you much more if you just told me the truth.

In the military, we have a saying that you can build something that's two out of the following three: fast, cheap or good.

Metro's plan reminds me of a famous quote in the movie Full Metal Jacket that's probably too lewd to print here.

But I will be watching you, Metro.

Other items:
Metro's hybrid buses flawed (Examiner)
Does Metro expansion make sense? (WaPo)
How Europe stifles driving (NYTimes)
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