Wednesday, September 25, 2013

'Absolutely Absurd'

Here is perhaps an explanation as to why the new Dupont South escalators are among Metro's worst performing.

From Emily:
The Dupont South escalators presented me with a tough choice one night last week around 8 p.m.:  Do I hobble down on crutches with all the risks entailed, or do I hobble through the circle on crutches to reach the elevator that may or may not be in service? 
I hobbled down the still escalator stairs. 

When I reached the bottom, I had a word with the really nice, and almost equally frustrated, station employee.

It turns out that when Metro contracted with a company to replace the escalators, the contract included a clause that said only employees of the contracted company can touch the escalator.

Since the Dupont South escalators had been replaced by this company, Metro personnel (including the engineer standing there during the conversation) are unauthorized to adjust them.

The station manager had to put in a request to the contracting company for them to send an employee to Dupont South just to switch one escalator's direction from up to down.

The station manager had been waiting for 4 hours for someone to come and make that switch.

Absurd.  Absolutely absurd.
Metro finally "responded" obliquely to this post, which meticulously documents the problems with the "transit grade" Dupont South escalators. They wouldn't respond directly to the statistics based on their own data that bear the problems out, but a spokesman emailed WAMU:
"The escalators at the South Entrance are performing as designed,” the statement said. “We are happy with their performance, and so are the 20,000 people who use the station each day and understand how much better their experience is now."
Last week, when DCist approached Metro asking about the original post, Dan Stessel told them:
"I have a standing rule of not commenting on Unsuck."

Other items:
Metro veteran to lead "independent safety oversight" group (WaPo)
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