Don’t get me wrong, four car trains are great if they save a little energy at off-peak times. But how can you use them on the Yellow line at rush hour? The Yellow line, unlike the Orange line, actually has seats available most of the time. But not this morning. This morning, I was waiting as usual at Mount Vernon Square where the Green line dropped me, at my usual spot. My usual spot is near the back end of the train, because that’s where the Columbia Heights escalator drops me, and I’ve never really had a need to move. The end cars are usually empty compared to the rest of them.
This morning, the WMATA powers-that-be decided that they’d just skimp a little and send a four car train. I have no idea why. It’s quite possible they had a really good reason, but I frankly don’t care. This means that everyone standing in front of where they expected cars five and six to be has to run down the platform and get onto the last car. This makes it somewhat crowded. The fourth car was full by the time a few people pushed on at Archives, but it didn’t get really bad until 300 clowns going to the Pentagon jumped on at L'Enfant Plaza.
I’ve been riding the Green and Yellow line since the end of March, and this is the first time been jammed into a train like this. Yes, I realize I shouldn’t complain. But when there is plenty of room on the train for five months, and then suddenly one day I have a sweaty Marine pressed into my back and a large shoulder bag pressed into my groin, someone is wearing really bad cologne, and people are making dumb “stuck in an elevator” jokes, then WMATA has failed. Perhaps they were too busy playing with their new maps to notice.
But I notice. And fear not, WMATA, I will continue to notice, and to complain.
Also, a note to people who pile on to an already full train at rush hour - there will be another train in six minutes or less. Seriously. You can wait. You’re just going to work.