Thursday, June 23, 2011


From Eric:
Unsuck spends a lot of time (justifiably) pointing out Metro's flaws, but I wanted to relay a recent positive experience.

Traveling on the Orange Line at rush hour through the city, it seems someone had "vandalized" the first car in the train, so it had to be locked down.

Obviously, during rush hour this created a problem, but the driver of the train handled it incredibly well.

At each stop, as we rolled into the station, he announced to the platform that the first car was out of service and asked people to please move down to the second, third, or fourth cars.

What really went the extra mile though was that at each stop he assured the riders that he wasn't going to leave them, and that they had time to move down to another car.

So often "please move to another car" means that you better haul ass down the platform and hope you make it in the doors before they close, but this driver actually took the extra 15 seconds or so to let people move down and reduce congestion.

Of course, as we got to Metro Center, the cars got even more crowded, and he had trouble with people cramming into the doors (honestly people, if you can't fit on the train just wait for the next one; it sucks but breaking a door isn't going to help you either), but he still maintained his cool, asked people to please not block the doors, and we got on our way.

Ultimately, the driver made the best of a bad situation, and while people stuck on the platform or crammed into the second car probably didn't appreciate the experience, I think this is an example of how every now and then Metro does provide the best service they can.
From Stacy:
Since you publish a lot of stories of Metro employees acting poorly, I wanted to share a counter-example.

The other morning, I got on a 71 bus heading north.

An old man got on at Archives and started yelling racist things at passengers and the driver.

The driver didn't take the bait, and calmly said "sir," in a way that acknowledged the man and let him know his behavior wasn't acceptable, and continued driving.

I don't know what else the driver could've done (ranting is not really a calling-the-police offense), but I'm glad he didn't let the situation escalate.
Other items:
6/22 memorial ceremony gets emotional (Examiner)
Bus drivers concerned about safety (WaPo)
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