Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Who's More Opaque?

What's the number for the Metro police again?

C'mon Metro.

Not even two hours after I signed off until the New Year, you go breaking, bad.

A few thoughts before I really (hopefully) sign off until 2012.

A contributor mentioned that when there's an airline accident, they're forced to release tapes of the "black box" conversations and other pertinent records.

So, I'm wondering when we're going to hear the tapes between Operations Control Center (OCC), Metro's "nerve center," and the damaged trains regarding yesterday's mess. Will we see the results of the inspections of the 5000-series cars, which have a history of derailing? Will we hear the results of the "internal investigation" about the evacuation procedures?

Again, communications seems to have been a big issue.
That's just an example. Many riders complained about being left in the smoky dark (smoke condition) for a long time with no word about what was going on or what to do. Radio problems?

Sadly, it's not bloody likely we'll ever hear those communications or have any other independent view on what happened. We'll just have to take Metro's word.

Besides, according to several Metro sources, the tapes from OCC have a way of disappearing when they make Metro look bad.

So onto something that should be easier to get from Metro, the infamous "what if there wasn't a Metro" """"study."""" Metro has only released an executive summary so far.

I've asked chief flack Dan Stessel for the full version of the $200,000 """"study"""" three times, and zilch.

Dan, like every other rider, I'm a 16-ccent investor in that, and I want to see it.
Me (12/14): Could I please have the full copy of the study recently in the news?
Dan (12/14): Checking on its status…
Me 12/15): How's the checking going?
Dan (12/15): The text of the full report is being finalized. It will be released, most likely next week.
Me (12/20 before all hell broke loose): status?
Dan:(UPDATE 12/21): Checked on it this afternoon. It is still being finalized.
So they release an executive report of a """"study"""" that isn't ready for public consumption? What's being finalized?


And finally, the whole mystery riders boondoggle. $252,000 (possibly $679,000) of your money spent on what exactly? It's not like things just need to be tweaked, and all will be well.

Here's what Greg had to say about that:
I know that in light of today's (12/20) egregious incident, the item below isn't as lurid, but I'm furious that Metro is spending public money to get feedback from system users. Evidently the tens of thousands of customer complaints it gets aren't an adequate source of information on what needs improvement.

As a taxpayer, I believe that the mystery shopper reports should be made public. These are, after all, merely observations made by the system-using public, so I don't see how any sensitive information could get disseminated.

And if it WERE disseminated, well, too goddamned bad!
My prediction as to when we'll see the mystery rider reports: Never.

At this point, it's a toss up as to who's is more opaque, N. Korea or WMATA.

And on that cheery note, I (hopefully) bid you very happy holidays and Happy New Year!

See you in 2012.

Other items:
Examiner take
Post take
Fox take
NBC take
ABC take
WTOP take
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