Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"Sick of Sick Passengers"

From Mark:
I've commuted on the New York subway and London Underground for years before moving to D.C. recently, and I can't ever remember a delay because of a sick customer. To be honest, there weren't many delays at all for any reason.

Last week, it seemed like every commute I had was marred by a sick customer. When it happens, it's as if the whole system grinds to a halt.

What's wrong with D.C.?

Are there too many workaholics that insist on going to work even if they're sick? Is all the burning brake smell the reason? Something they use to clean the cars? The jerky rides? Is Metro just saying "sick customer" when something else is wrong?

Anyone have any idea?
From Ashley:
I'm getting really sick of all the "sick passenger" incidents on Metro.

The other day, I was delayed by at least 35 minutes during rush hour because trains were "single tracking between L'Enfant and Pentagon City" due to a sick passenger.

If this had never happened before, I would be a bit more patient.

However, just the other week, I also had serious delays when commuting to work in the morning because of a "single-tracking due to a sick passenger."

What strikes me as a bit odd is that
a) this happens all of the time
b) why the single-tracking? I have heard the "sick passenger" fairly frequently in the past, but the "single-tracking" due to a sick customer seems to be new.

I have lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, spent a considerable amount of time in London, and have visited countless cities with metro systems. Never ONCE in all my memory do I recall delays in any of these places due to a "sick passenger."

And there are far more people riding on these systems than on Metro in DC.

Please explain to me how "sick passengers" don't seem to be an issue in other places, but cause half-hour (minimum) delays on Metro?

Does Metro just have a really poor procedure for dealing with sick passengers, or is Metro just making up this excuse to avert blame?

Do we have confirmed sightings of these "sick passengers?"

Again, I'm willing to accept that people do get sick on Metro, and that there may, from time to time, be a minor delay (and maybe rarely a major delay) but this is at least a weekly occurrence here in D.C.

Something has to be up...
Other items:
Metro is hiring a deputy chief spokesperson (LinkedIn)
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