Thursday, September 30, 2010

Smoke? Fire? Who Cares?

From an anonymous reader:

Last Thursday, there was a fire in one of the lamps at Foggy Bottom. Tons of smoke was billowing out.

My boyfriend and I jogged all the way back upstairs and yelled to the station manager "there's a fire on the platform!"

She looked annoyed and said "I know! I already called the police and fire department."

Don't the station managers have fire extinguishers?

What kind of Metrorail system doesn't keep a fire extinguisher on hand in case of a small-to-medium fire, like this?

We have to WAIT for the fire department?

And she didn't even bother to evacuate the station to protect people from smoke and fire!

She didn't even bother to come out of her kiosk to look. She stayed behind the glass while several concerned people were telling her about the fire.

It could have been a backpack someone placed up there with an IED in it. I could have been anything. She had no idea--and didn't seem to care.

The trains kept running, and there was not a single service disruption as a result of the fire, which is frightening. They didn't even make an announcement warning those who may be sensitive to inhaling tons of smoke.


If that HAD been a bomb, and she was notified of the smoke ahead of time, and 10 minutes later it went off, there would be hell to pay.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Metro's Newest PSA

Other items:
Be a part of the Riders' Advisory Council (WMATA)
Group seeks more development around PG Metro stations (WaPo)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Metro's New Openness: Delayed, Disrupted and Offloaded

Someone over at Metro really doesn't want to follow the GM's advice to be open and honest with riders about problems.

Back in August, we asked Metro about severe slowdowns between East Falls Church and West Falls Church that had been reported by several riders.

Metro gave a vague answer that made the slowdowns seem like nothing to worry about.

Well take a look at what they have to say now:
Trains to share one track between the West Falls Church-VT/UVA and East Falls Church Metrorail stations on weekdays

Orange Line trains will share one track for four hours a day between the West Falls Church-VT/UVA and East Falls Church Metrorail stations on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. from Sept. 27 through Oct. 8, because Metro will install new cross ties and new rail in that area to improve service reliability by allowing trains to operate at normal speeds.

Metro has identified an immediate need to replace cross ties and upgrade its track between these two rail stations. By completing these necessary repairs, Metro will be able remove speed restrictions that are currently in place between these stations.

Metrorail customers traveling between these stations should not anticipate any delays because trains operate approximately every 12 minutes during this time frame.

To alert customers about this upcoming daytime work, Metro will make train and system announcements, issue e-alerts and post signs at the affected stations.
We confirmed with Metro that the August slowdowns and the newly announced daytime track work are related. The slowdowns have been ongoing, to varying degrees, all this time, according to rider CS.

Way to communicate with your passengers in an open and honest way, Metro. Were the ties and track issues immediate or not? Was it ever dangerous? How come all on-train announcements made by operators during the past 6 weeks seemed purposely vague? Why didn't you tell riders what was going on?

This is the third case this month in which Metro appears to be hiding things.

There's the ongoing struggle to get information about doors, automatic train control and the bellying of the 1000-series cars; Metro's reluctance to talk about a recent incident in which the doors of a train were opened over the third rail; and finally, Metro's BS implying there had never been issues of 4000-series car doors opening while the train was in motion.

Next time we hear an innocuous sounding announcement from Metro, we're going to wonder what's really going on.

Other items:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Metro Swinger

I thought you'd like this photo of my commute home the other night at about 9:00 on the Yellow line, between Reagan National and Braddock Road. The monkey business isn't just in Metro's main office.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Decision to Pull 4000-series Prompted by a "Number of Incidents"

WMATA still hasn't learned how to be open and honest, particularly about one of its biggest sore spots--the fricking doors!

In today's prepared testimony by Tri-State Oversight Committee (TOC) chair Matthew Bassett before the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service and DC Oversight, it was revealed that Metro appeared to hide critical safety information from riders and the very group meant to oversee the safety of its operations.

Just prior to the July 4 weekend, Metro made an announcement that it would pull all of the 4000-series cars "to address a possible short in the car door circuitry that could cause the doors to open while the cars are in motion. The removal of the cars was not prompted by a particular incident, but performance tests and observations conducted by Metro's operations staff."

Sounds proactive, right?

According to today's testimony, the TOC wanted more information about these alleged performance tests and observations.

Metro couldn't seem to get its act together to come up with a simple answer to a relatively simple question.


Perhaps because, according to the prepared testimony, "one particular incident did not motivate the decision to remove the 4000-series, but rather a number of incidents." This information, it turns out, came from "front-line personnel during an Aug. 10 railcar maintenance shop visit," more than a month after the TOC made its initial request for information and weeks after the cars were "cleared" for service.


Metro appears to have flat out lied to the public and kept its oversight body completely out of the loop the entire time.

Bassett's prepared testimony, which you can read here, cites some positive steps Metro has taken toward a safer system, but revelations like this could undermine it all. Another case of one step forward, two steps back? Remember this case of Metro BS?

We don't know how many times we'll have to dredge up interim GM Sarles' bold, yet apparently meaningless statement, but here it is again: "I don't want to hide problems. That's the worst thing you can do."

Prove you mean it!

Ol' Smokey

Other items:
NY Subway allows payment via iPhone (Mashable via @tracytran)
Metro-types (WashingTina)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Crazy PIDs these Days!

@jdb820 This picture (at Columbia Heights) is beyond the impossible! #wmata @unsuckdcmetro

Oh Metro. Your PIDs were once a bragging right and separated you from some other mass transit systems, but alas, like the rest of you, they've fallen into a state of disrepair that they're now a joke.

Just yesterday, all PIDs were off by several minutes, and last week, on the Blue and Orange lines at least, the signs were displaying the wrong train as arriving, leading many in the wrong direction.

Got a funny PIDs pic to share? You can in the comments if the pic is hosted somewhere like Twitpic or Flickr. Just use the HTML image tag to link DIRECTLY to the photo, not the page where the photo is hosted. Email works, too.

If you took this, let me know. Will credit.

From Deandra

From @cjrock

From tempsperdu. Van Dorn PIDs

via @umichgrad07

@TehRubenDC Thank you, #wmata. Apparnetly the orange line is never again getting trains.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Metro Reponse to Public Records Request: FAIL

When you ride Metrorail, there are pretty much three basic things you care about – how often the trains come; whether one will break down and delay you once you get on; and whether you’re likely to be injured or killed while riding.

Those were the thoughts behind three public records requests Unsuck filed with Metro on July 26. Below is a scorecard on how the new, “open” Metro has fared in handling these requests for basic, vital information about system operations.

For each request, in addition to the actual inquiry, we also sought expedited consideration and a waiver of fees. We did so because these inquiries address information of urgent interest to riders and the public beyond, and because agencies typically seek to thwart information access by charging outrageous fees.

As the chart shows, the openness promised by Metro’s new general manager isn’t much in evidence.

Bad as the results are, keep in mind that the public records process is how Metro insists that many public inquiries be handled, including the salaries of its executive team!

We will be sharing these dismal results with each member of the Metro Board of Directors, to see what they’ve got to say – whether they’ll stand up for public access, or instead back the bureaucrats (who work for them!) that prefer to be roadblocks to access.

We’ll let you know the results.--CS

Sorry. Not sure why the table is so far down. Please scroll. If you can see the problem, please let us know.

REQUEST 1: Reliability, repair, operation, or design of railcar doorsREQUEST 2: Safety and other issues with “bellying” 1000-series cars in middle of trainsREQUEST 3: Automatic train control and development of real-time collision-avoidance system
Request for expedited consideration – Did Metro respond within required 10 calendar days?
(Took 22 days to respond)
(Took 22 days to respond)
(Response 46 days late as of 9/20/10)
Decision on request for expedited consideration.DENIED
(Stated reason: No urgency; information already known by public. Unsuck has appealed.)
(Stated reason: No urgency; information already known by public. Unsuck has appealed.)
Request for fee waiver – Has Metro responded?NONONO
Overall request – Did Metro respond within required 20 working days?
(Response 28 days late as of 9/20/10)
(Response 28 days late as of 9/20/10)
(Response 28 days late as of 9/20/10)
Decision on overall request – Has Metro released requested information?PENDINGPENDINGPENDING

Monday, September 20, 2010

Unattended Stations

From Tiffany:
One recent Saturday afternoon, I was exiting the Virginia Square Metro station. I was already outside of the fare gates and was walking toward the escalator out of the station.

The emergency light and sound on the station manager's booth started flashing and sounding. I know sometimes this is just because someone presses the wrong button when waiting for the elevator, but I looked around all the same to see what was happening. There was no station manager in sight.

At first, I was expecting them to come out of the back area, but when no one appeared, I started to wonder if they might be up at the top of the escalator. In the evenings, one or two particular station managers like to stand up there and chat with their friends. When I got to the top of the escalator, I still didn't see anyone around.

Then, I noticed a woman getting out of her minivan, parked beside the Metro. She was wearing the station manger uniform and was starting to put on her neon vest. Then, she started fussing with things in the front passenger seat, and when she stepped away from her car to lock it, her arms were filled with two McDonald's cups and a black bag that looked like it might be her cooler/lunch bag. I live in the area and know that the nearest McDonald's is at least 6 blocks away in Ballston.

At this point, I could still clearly hear the emergency alarm sounding from the top of the escalator. She was in no rush to get back downstairs. When I took out my cellphone to snap a picture, she was very aware of what I was doing. When she stood there staring at me, I said, "Do you know that the emergency alarm is going off down in the station?" She yelled at me, "Yes, I KNOW! What are you taking my picture for?!"

I replied, "because your emergency alarm is going off and you're just coming back from a trip to McDonald's." She stepped on the escalator and rode it down, sipping from one of her cups, in no rush to get downstairs.

I didn't want to escalate any confrontation with her, so I didn't go back down to see what happened, but no emergency vehicles ever responded to the scene or anything like that. I assume it was just someone accidentally pressing the wrong button at the elevator, but how would she ever know that from upstairs and blocks away at McDonald's?

Whenever someone presses one of the red emergency buttons anywhere in the station, it's my understanding that they first "ring" to the station manager's booth.

What if the station manager had been away at McDonald's when something serious happened?

Are station managers supposed to man their booth or at least the station at all times? What happens when they take breaks? I'm just curious about this in light of what I witnessed.
We asked Metro about its policies, giving them the specifics from Tiffany's observations, and this is what they said:
Station managers are required to notify central control any time they leave the kiosk/mezzanine area.

Based on the information you have provided, it would be difficult to speculate the exact situation. Was the station manager you mention returning from a break or reporting for the first time? Can't tell.
We followed up:

So just to clarify, the stations can be left unattended at times? Is there a limit to the amount of time a station can be left unattended?

We have yet to hear an answer.

Other items:
Task force meets to discuss Metro governance (WaPo)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bring in the Clowns

After listening to yesterday's Metro Board committee meeting, it's clear Metro has reached the peak of the peak of asinine dysfunction. Here's a sampling.
We've said this before, but if you really want to get a better understanding (not that you need one) of Metro's woes, listen to a Board or committee meeting. You'll laugh. You'll cry.

PS. At yesterday's committee meeting, it was revealed that the number of fires in the Metro system are rising at an "alarming rate."

Other items:
Another MetroAccess driver goes Metro (TBD)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Operator Put on Paid Leave for Allegedly Texting

The train operator seen apparently texting while operating a train is on paid leave pending the results of an investigation, according to Metro. Unsuck put the witness in touch with Metro, and Metro confirmed the witness was interviewed.

We asked the Magic 8 Ball if the operator would keep his job. "It is decidedly so" was the answer.

Original photo courtesy @sknightschultz

Other items:
Metro's suicide prevention program sounds very ... Metro (Examiner)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Metro Song

Local rapmedian Remy of "Arlington: the Rap" fame is at it again, this time taking (on) Metro.

Other items:
Metro adds new buses that hopefully won't catch fire (WaPo)

Monday, September 13, 2010


From CS:

The scene
: Orange Line, approaching Vienna.

With people in car standing, a man wearing large (6-inch long, by the looks of it), silver cross around neck has his feet stretched out across his seat (an Unsuck Riders-We-Hate no-no).

Lounging up a storm, he's reading newspaper, casually dropping read sections on the floor.

The train pulls into the station, and we get up to leave.

A rough transcript of what ensued:

Me (pointing at pile on floor): I think you forgot your newspaper.

Him: (Shaking head knowingly) It's alright.

Me: No, it's not alright. You're not supposed to leave trash on the train.

Him: Don't be so petty.

Me: Me, petty? You're the one who left the trash on the train.

Him: This country is falling apart.

Me: I agree with you there, but that doesn't change the fact that you left your trash on the train.

Him: Don't be so petty.

Me: You're the one who left the trash. Where do you get off doing that?

Him: You should go to church more. Don't be so petty.

Whereupon we parted on the platform.

Made me wonder: Where would Jesus litter?

Also by CS:
Other items:
Metro doesn't want to pay MoCo energy tax (Examiner)

Friday, September 10, 2010

And You Thought the Subway was Hot

click for larger

Our crack staff of graphic artists has been hard at work.

From Michael.

Timely after Metro pulled 99 buses for fear they'd catch fire. Oh, Metro.

Been there, Done that

Yesterday’s posting on a potentially catastrophic incident in which a Green Line operator opened the doors on the wrong side of the train created a bit of a dust-up, with Metro unwilling to provide details the riding public surely is entitled to know.

You want more information, Metro said, file a public records request – thereby underscoring, once again, the agency’s reluctance to share important info with its riders.

One of the questions arising from this serious safety breach is whether there may be some automated system for monitoring door openings, or mis-openings, as the case may be. As Unsuck observed, “the public has a right to know what goes on, especially when there's a danger of people being dumped onto the third rail.”

Well, it turns out Metro has recently had a chance – via none other than a public records request – to deliver a pronouncement on how seriously it takes letting the public know about door problems, including serious concerns about an automated door system.

The result is predictable, if not pretty.

Part of the records request was for expedited consideration, in order to try and avoid the swamp that most public record requests get dumped into. After taking more than twice as long as its public records policy provides, Metro denied the request for expediting the handling of the request.


Because, according to Metro, “information regarding the Metrorail train doors is already in the public domain.” Despite thousands of door-related delays in recent years, not to mention the potentially deadly Green Line incident last month, Metro said there is no urgency to inform the public about Metro door problems and its failed automatic door system – the very thing that has forced Metro into the manual door operation that led to the Green Line incident.

That’s right, folks. Move along. Nothing to see here. Whatever you need to know, rest assured, Metro has already laid it out there for you.

It’s hard to fathom the arrogance and disconnect from reality that goes into a decision like that, not to mention what Metro thinks really WOULD rise to the level of something urgent or worthy of disclosure to its riding public.

Once again, we see why it’s important to watch what Metro does, not what it says. The GM has said that covering up problems "is the worst thing you can do.” Yet given the chance to make good on that declaration, Metro has instead made its familiar trek to the bunker.

Also by CS:
Other items:
Metro yanks 99 buses from service for fire risk (WMATA)
4th MetroAccess driver this year charged with sexual assault (WMATA)/Examiner take
Major closures Columbus Day weekend (WMATA)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ludwig Story Gaining Momentum

Hats off to WUSA9 for picking up a story reported here that really needs to be told. No other media outlet would touch it.

The Wrong Kind of Openness


On Aug. 25, shortly before 10:30 a.m. on the Green Line toward Branch Ave., at the Mt Vernon stop, a Metro train operator opened the doors on the wrong side of the train.

We know this because of a tweet, which we later retweeted.

Within a day, the Tri-State Oversight Committee (TOC), the body charged with safety oversight, asked if we could put them in touch with the twitter. We did. The TOC went to Metro with the information and discovered Metro had also seen the tweet on the Unsuck Twitter. Metro confirmed the incident with the TOC.

Opening the doors on the wrong side of a train is a major safety violation, but in this case, there are many questions about the incident that Metro won't answer.

Instead, they will cite policy:
Absent mechanical failure, the penalties are as follows:

Improper Opening
1st occurrence: 12 workday suspension + retraining
2nd occurrence: 18 month disqualification as Train Operator (can work in other L689 jobs for which qualified)
3rd occurrence: permanent disqualification as Train Operator

There is no time limit on the penalties for 2nd & 3rd occurrence. The employee's entire WMATA history is considered.

Failure to Report
1st occurrence: 20 workday suspension
2nd occurrence: discharge

The penalties for improper opening & failure to report can be added together, so if there is an improper and unreported door opening, the employee will receive a 32 workday suspension + retraining.
We asked Metro if the operator reported the incident. They wouldn't say.

"We are not going to comment on the specifics as it is a personnel issue," was the response.

In a later conversation with Metro, we were again rebuffed, even after pointing out that Metro has had no problems announcing the suspensions and 'firings' of other violators in the past.

Still they didn't want to reveal more.

We made the argument that the public has a right to know what goes on, especially when there's a danger of people being dumped onto the third rail. Furthermore, the public has a right to know if the operator simply screwed up or--and this is a far more scary notion--he screwed up and felt like he could simply not report it and walk.

Metro said there's no way the operator could have gotten away with such a violation because there is an automated system that would alert Metro central control if there was an improper door operation.

However, it's unclear at this point, whether such a system actually exists.

On Aug. 30, the TOC requested more information about the incident, including asking if there is an automated door violation reporting system and, if there is, any reports generated by it on Aug. 25. As of press time, the TOC had not gotten a response from Metro.

You'd think the existence of such a system would be something, you know, Metro would sort of know off the tops of their heads, especially considering the number of door incidents. In fact, door issues were recently a focus of safety when Metro pulled all of the 4000-series cars because the doors were opening while the train was moving.

This is a blown opportunity for Metro to just settle with riders about what happened and what they did as a result, but instead it looks like they're hiding something, causing further distrust.

Wasn't it the GM himself who said covering up problems "is the worst thing you can do?"

Original photo: charliepinto

Other items:
Zimmerman's Metro stewardship scrutinized (Gazette)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Necessary Quotation Marks

From Jill:

One of my most frequently muttered terms in life is "WTF WMATA," and the other night was no different. I was traveling from my apartment a few blocks North of the Van Ness to Cleveland Park.

For such a short trip, I prefer to take the bus so I don't have to deal with escalators, long train waits, and being underground in general.

NextBus told me that a string of five buses would be passing my apartment in about a 10-minute period, so I figured I'd head out in the middle of that bunch. I missed the first four, and was patiently awaiting the last bus of that string, with the next bunch of buses not coming for a half hour.

What should I see from my little bus bench, but the L4 I'm waiting for FLYING by me in the left lane. I throw up my arms to indicate "WTF WMATA?!," only to have the driver throw the same gesture right back at me, as if out of the two of us, I am the one who has broken the bus protocol.

Being naive, I assume that since this man has seen a rider who he has passed, if said rider begins to run down the street after him, he will stop at the next bus stop.

Obviously, I forgot that I was dealing with WMATA.

He proceeds to get into the right hand lane to wait at a stop light, with me still running after him.

The light turns green, and he stays in the right lane long enough for a break in the traffic so he can get back into his careening lane.


It's hot, so I decide I'll suck it up and take the Metro instead of walking.

I walk down the two stopped escalators, and for once, the train arrives quickly and takes me to the next station without incident.

I'm about ready to start kicking Metro equipment when I look up and see a sign that makes it all better.

"'Escalator' out of service"

I don't care if it was a witty station manager acknowledging that, at best, these things should be referred to as "escalators," or if this is just another example of questionable WMATA quotation use, but either way, it gave me the strength to wake up the next morning and board that train once again.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Is Blackberry Mocking WMATA?

Metro is very choosy about its image in movies and, apparently, commercials. Watch carefully. The station is way off, but the "train" is nearly spot on.

Thanks @map408psu

Should Metro Encourage this Rider Behavior Instead?

From DF:

During rush hour, when so many trains are so jam packed, I intentionally let some pass until I find one empty enough to suit me. Sometimes, it's just so I can stand without being scrunched against four other people, and other times, it's so I can sit. I have a long ride, from Dupont all the way out to Shady Grove, so I'd kind of prefer not to stand all the way.

For some reason, the other night, the trains were running very slowly. Maybe because of the hostage situation in Silver Spring, but the trains seemed to be 9-12 minutes apart at rush hour, according to the sign.

So, I walked up and down the platform a couple of times, and when I returned to the front end, where I usually wait, I decided to sit and read a book. There's no bench there, so I sat on the floor.

I had been sitting for just a few minutes when a bright light was shone on me from the mezzanine level. A voice asked me if I was getting on the train.

I looked around - no train in sight. I said, "sure, when it gets here."

The light remained.

Then, I was told I needed to get on the train, that I had been seen waiting for 20 minutes.

I said I planned to wait for a train that wasn't jam packed. I was told again that I had better get on the next one.

Is waiting for a train suddenly a crime?

"Or else what?" I asked. I was getting a teeny bit irritated.

Or else I'd be told to leave the station, was the reply.

Now, the officer - and it was an officer - was a level above me, so I couldn't see her badge for a name or number, and I didn't want to ask. (I know, shame on me.) I am not even certain which branch the officer was from, but probably Metro itself.

So what did I do?

I put my earphones back on, got up, and walked to the back end of the platform, where I proceeded to let three more trains go by before finally getting on.

There you have it. Apparently, you are not permitted to wait for a train for too long.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Rider Hall of Shame: Pocket Fool

Update: Youtube has taken the video down. Basically, is was a video of a jerk off jerking off with his hands down his pants. It was a thing of beauty, now lost forever.

Scientists are working hard on pole prophylactics. We'll update you with any developments.

Rider Hall of Shame

Other items:
Remember the Red Line will be a mess this weekend (WMATA)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Zimmerman Borrows Palin Tactic

Taking a page from the Sarah Palin book (pamphlet) on how to bash the media, Chris Zimmerman, Metro Board member from Arlington, takes aim at the press for being part of Metro's problems. Next thing you know, he'll be wheeling out the "lamestream media" line.

Check out this quote from the City Paper:
“It used to be that you could learn a lot about Metro by reading the Post. That’s not what the newspaper is doing anymore,” Zimmerman says. “…The Examiner isn’t interested in Metro getting better, it’s interested in having something to kick. It’s an ideological mission for them. And I think the Post is just looking for a headline that will allow them to sell past the Examiner.”
What sorts of stories would Chris like to see in the press? Should the 6/22 articles have been headlined along the lines of "Hundreds Survive Metro Crash?" Should the Ludwig story be recast as a rider-friendly cost cutting move that saved Metro money? What about all of the willfully dangerous driving/criminal incidents? Should those stories have been spun to say that Metro is committed to the development of its workforce? C'mon!

If anything the press is and has been too soft on Metro. Besides, if Zimmerman wants affirmation for the "great" job he's doing, he knows where to go.

Chris should have followed the advice of an old saying: "Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

One to Remember

Sweet memories of the September 1, 2010 evening commute. Thanks to all who tweeted pics. You're all credited on the Unsuck Flickr page. Couldn't figure out how to make the captions appear on the slide show.

Other items:
GM search yields many interested candidates (WaPo)
Metro fixes could cost as much as $1 BILLION (WaPo)
Cool map idea (GGW)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

$150,000 Per Year to Hear the Obvious?

From an anonymous reader:
The other evening, I received a phone call at home from a marketing company. I was about to tell the caller to take me off her list, but my attitude changed when she said she wanted to ask me some questions about Metro.

"Really? Sure, I'll share my opinions!" I said.

And so it began.

The survey lasted about 20 minutes.

She started with some basic questions, asking me how long I've been using Metro, how many times a week, etc. Then, I was asked to rate almost everything from the escalators to the employees' level of customer service to the cleanliness of the Metro cars on a scale of one to seven.

Finally, I was asked if I would be willing to be contacted again to share my views. I said yes, but frankly how much more complaining do they need to hear from the riders until they get it?

At the end of the call, I asked her some questions of my own, but unfortunately she couldn't provide any answers.

So, I decided to email my questions directly to WMATA.
We forwarded the questions and got answers. Here they are:

1) Who at WMATA authorized WB&A to do this survey?
Contract was awarded in FY 07, three year base with two option years. Contract was approved by the Board of Directors.

2) How much is WMATA paying this company?
FY11 budget is $148,000.00

3) Why would WMATA pay a private company to conduct this survey when riders already share their concerns and complaints with WMATA by email and phone?
The survey consists of on-going tracking of customer satisfaction among a representative sample of Metro’s ridership. The survey is sampled by mode to include riders from all signatory jurisdictions. The survey consists of 200 interviews per month, rolled up to 600 interviews per quarter, rolled up to 2400 interviews per year; this sample allows for reliable measurement across all three time periods.

4)Why a scale of 1-7?
Because research has demonstrated that the 7 point Lickert scale allows enough gradation for respondents to provide accurate measurement of their impressions, without too much subjective variance within the ranges. In other words, there’s more consistency in three different people rating an attribute at “5,” than can be achieved with a 10 point scale.

Remember the "mystery riders" program?

So, by all means, leave your feedback for WMATA so they don't keep spending your money on surveys!

Other items:
The mysterious anti-loitering device at Gallery Place (NBC4)
That this is "news" is a major reason our public transport sucks (WaPo)
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