Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Is MetroForward Making Any Difference?

We're coming up on two years of enduring MetroForward, Metro's "rebuilding" project. The self-congratulatory PR (look we fixed some tiles)  has been constant, but what about the results? There's no doubt Metro needed serious work, but have Metro managers, in their zeal to spend capital funds, lost track of Metro's mission?

We've tolerated weekend closures, bus bridges, endless single tracking, weeknight track work, mid-day trackwork, single tracking on Columbus Day and Veteran's Day when a lot of people still have to work. A lot of people I know have simply given up on Metro and are likely never to go back.

Metro has spent hundreds of millions on MetroForward, but is it paying off? Are they just placing new equipment on top of a rotten foundation--namely a completely ineffectual board of directors? Is there ever going to be an "ah-ha" moment when things suddenly get better?

By the looks of the daily disruption reports,  number of derailments, train malfunctions and switch malfunctions along with numerous cases of trapped riders, it's hard to see much, if any, improvement.

One Metro source explained that trying to maintain Metro is like painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Once you finish, you have to go back and start painting again. Metro itself admits that there are likely at least several more years of these kinds of service cuts, particularly on the weekends. Is this the new norm? No one is talking about that.

What do you think?
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