Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Quittin' Time

From Pat:
On Saturday, April 14, I had been dining in Silver Spring with a friend and afterwards, around 10:30, took Metrorail to Wheaton where I knew I could catch a bus that would take me right past my apartment.

I usually ride the C4, but when a C2 pulled up with "Parklawn Dr./Randolph Rd." on its lighted sign (exactly where I wanted to go) I got on.

It was an uneventful ride until the driver rounded the corner of Randolph and Viers Mill Rd towards Selfridge Rd., whereupon he killed the lights on the bus and announced "end of the line!"

I walked to the front of the bus and told him that when I boarded the bus at Wheaton, the destination sign said Parklawn and Randolph.

His reply? "Well you'd better check the sign now. It says 'not in service.'" (That's verbatim, and said with more than a hint of laughter.)

No other explanation was given. Without much of a choice, I got off the bus and waited the 15 minutes or so for another to come along before making it the rest of the way home.

Although I did get home fine, and didn't feel particularly unsafe (being familiar with the area and only about a mile from home), it was late in the evening, and I can't help but reckon I'd have to blame Metro had I been mugged or something.

Or is it par for the course to force people off buses late at night before reaching the stated destination?

A quick glance at the online timetables reveals the driver was wrong and should have gone all the way to Parklawn.

Just to speculate though, the White Flint bus garage is a short distance heading the opposite direction on Parklawn, and perhaps this driver wanted to head straight there and end his shift, final few stops be damned.

I reported the incident to Metro on Monday morning, but the guy on the phone had a thick accent and needed me to repeat a lot. I'm not certain he understood me.
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