Friday, November 16, 2012

Metro's 'Big Idea'

Original photo via @julio_gonzalez#wmata's invitation to think..on@WaPoExpress. shall we dance@unsuckdcmetro?

So this whole Momentum/Mind Mixer thing got off to a rocky start. The first accomplishment was to get rude with riders on Twitter. And from there...

At yesterday's board meeting, Metro GM Richard Sarles said the Mind Mixer site had a total of 2,700 unique visitors. He also said the ad pictured above will appear in English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean.

From Mike:
So, I opened up the Express and saw Metro is asking me for the next "Big Idea." Really? Don't they have any themselves? Take a look around. Ride the Metro! Read this blog. Tons of no-cost ways to make Metro better right now. Right this instant. I don't get why they spend money to start a conversation that's already happening and has been for years. Maybe if Metro management got out and rode the system a little more, they'd come up with some ideas themselves.

Here's what I'd put in the form: (added to the photo)
From a Metro source:
Why don't you do something on the Office of Long Range Planning. I thought things would get better there after the credit card scandal (details), but they've gotten worse.

They are showered with money they don't know what to do with, so they spend it on stuff like the what if there were no Metro study and websites like Planitmetro and Momentum.

The office does study after study of things that will never happen at Metro. A lot of people around here shake their heads with some of the stuff they come up with. The executive leadership team seems to think it can do no wrong. I guess it gives them more pie in the sky stuff they can "wow" the  board with.

I know for a fact that much of the "conversation" on the Mind Mixer site are people in the planning office. From what I hear, a lot of Metro's highly paid "senior planners" spend a lot of time on the Mind Mixer site talking about things with students and transit geeks about stuff that will never happen at Metro.

I'd be very leery of those sites as the artificially generated "conversation" can easily be turned into anything whim the planning office has. Many feel they are a costly distraction from what should be all about a back to basics movement.
Several other sources at Metro confirm widespread internal suspicion about Metro's planning department.

One of those implicated in the planning department's unbelievable credit card scandal, who later left in its wake, is former WMATA chief planner Nat Bottigheimer. While I can't say for sure it's the same person, someone named "Nat B," from Princeton where Bottighemer now lives, has submitted two ideas to the Mind Mixer site.

One is for a Facebook page for each Metrobus line, and the other is to hold a short film competition about the area's transit future.

Mind mixed!

If you want to make your own Photoshop, here's the blank image.

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