Thursday, January 31, 2013

How Long Would You Wait Before 'Self-Evacuating?'

Via @mrblackwealth: Stuck in the tunnel on metro power went out, it's so hot the metal sweating.

A smoking arcing insulator set off a perfect storm of Metro fail last night, leaving hundreds stuck on trains underground and thousands stranded up and down the Green Line and near pandemonium at NavyYard.

A Metro source tells me Metro's insulators have been poorly maintained and have accumulated a coating of dirt and dust. This, they say allows them to conduct electricity, which leads to ugly smoking.

While there are differing reports about how long riders were stuck, the conditions inside the stuck train(s) sounded pretty atrocious according to several tweeps.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said riders "self evacuated" from at least one train and that this added to the delays. He has said this before only to be called on it.

Some tweets cast some doubt on the self evacuation story.

But even if Stessel was telling the truth, Metro's reaction to the crowds gathering at Navy Yard left much to be desired.

Of course Metro communication was a major failure with numerous riders saying no information was available to those stuck on the trains or the masses of people waiting for Metro's anemic attempt to get shuttle service started. Of course, the failure started at the top.

The worst aspect of this whole thing? To me it's that there was a similar incident in July, and Metro promised its board of directors it would do better. It most certainly did not.

All of this begs the question:

Other items:
MTPD behaving badly (City Paper)
Wapo Green Line story
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