Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sarles Wants Your Pics

Sleepy sounding Metro GM Richard Sarles made a rare public appearance yesterday to recite rote answers to mostly softball questions on the Today Kojo Show.

During one highlight, Sarles invited riders to send him pictures of Metro employee wrongdoing. Of course he didn't provide an email address (rsarles@wmata.com), but it didn't take long for reader Brian to take Sarles up on the offer, CC'ing me.

If you do write the GM, I'd appreciate a  CC so we can see if anything gets done.

From Brian:
Hello Mr. Sarles,

Since you have asked to be alerted to what is happening in your system, I wanted to share with you two serious safety violations I saw committed by your Metrobus operators.

The first involves bus #2108 and is seen in the attached photo. This was taken on Jan. 14 at about 4:22 p.m. on 9th St. N. in Arlington (Ballston). The bus was left empty illegally parked and in front of fire hydrant. The driver was nowhere in sight, I even waited around a few minutes. The picture shows the no stopping or paking sign and the hydrant clearly.

The second incident occurred on Jan. 6 at 3:33 p.m. at  7th and F St. NW (Chinatown) and involved bus #4293. A fire truck was driving Code 3 (lights and sirens activated) down F St., and while 7th St. had a green light. All motorists stopped to let the firetruck through, as the law requires. However, your bus driver decided to cross the double-yellow line on 7th, drive the wrong way up 7th St., where he nearly hit the fire truck head on which was turning onto 7th St.

Mr. Sarles, I am ashamed to live in a city where a service as inefficient as yours operates, however, clear safety violations are just totally unacceptable. I've filed such complaints before through customer service, but nothing ever happens.
Your social media team, including chief spokesman Dan Stessel via @wmata, fails to respond. At first, they would say you did not provide enough information, and then when that is given, they just ignore you. Your customer service team does the same. How can you be proud to lead an organization where there is no accountability?

It is bad enough I do not feel safe riding Metrobus or rail, but the conduct of the operators listed above is reprehensible.

I expect an answer to this note and am happy to provide any more details. 

Other items: 

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