Isn’t that what you’re supposed to be fixing?

Metro Use A Rarity For Half Of Board |

[Ward One Councilman Jim] Graham said frequent night meetings make mass transit inconvenient.

Taking transit is not convenient for their jobs, [Metro board members who don’t actually use Metro] said.

So, what they’re saying here is, “We’re so grossly incompetent that we can’t even make Metro work for ourselves. Good luck to all you poor schlubs!” What kind of schedule do these people keep that Metro isn’t convenient? I don’t believe that they have Metro board meetings at 4AM on Sundays. Seriously, this is like the CEO of Bank of America keeping his life savings under his mattress because the branches are too inconvenient. Maybe the reason that Metro has a $29 million deficit is because it’s not serving the residents of the DC Metro area. And maybe the people responsible for fixing it could actually use it and see for themselves what the problems are. Instead, they’ll probably just raise fares again, making it less convenient for everyone. Next year we’ll have a $40 million deficit, and more people who don’t use it will make more bad decisions.


Is this a DC thing?  Every time I hear someone on a Metro loudspeaker mention the Judiciary Square Metro stop, they pronounce it “joo-DISH-oo-wary”.

I don’t often take the Red Line out that way, so I don’t hear it very often.  But today something was going on there, and they made an announcement at Pentagon City while I was waiting for my train.

I’m home early, by the way, because Satan’s Cable Company, Comcast, is supposed to come out again to fix our tv and internet.  I was told the other day that they had to do some work outside, and no one needed to be home.  Apparently that was a lie.

I really hate Comcast.  The service is bad.  I hear they’re much better in Maryland, but in DC the service is not good.  The guy who came to look at our connections the other day was very pleasant, but he couldn’t fix the problem.

Anyway, if there was any real competition in the cable and internet market here, I would switch.  But there currently isn’t.  A neighbor is trying out the DirecTV and Verizon DSL route.  I’m going to have to see how he likes it.  I’ve had bad experiences with satellite tv, and I’m sure Verizon is going to complain if I ask for DSL without a Verizon phone line (Although I think they have to provide it).

So, I’m at home, using my wireless internet card from work.  It’s AT&T, and it works occasionally.  Actually, the card says Cingular on it, but Cingular doesn’t exist anymore.

And now I’m just rambling, which usually means I should just stop and hit “Publish”.  So I think I’ll do that.

Curse you, four car train

Seriously, I’ve had it with the four car trains. Someone at WMATA needs to get it through their head that you can’t send a four car train ANYWHERE during peak commuting times. I didn’t even have space to read the Economist. How am I supposed to be informed if I can’t read on the Metro?

I don’t know if it’s a money thing. I suspect it is. It probably won’t really work to raise prices. They’re already pretty high. A tax to shift the burden to people who don’t actually ride Metro would be nice. If people want to drive in the city, that’s fine, but they’re going to subsidize those of us who avoid it as much as possible.

Anyway, it’s a crummy way to start the day.

No more four car trains at rush hour!

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.

Welcome to Web 2.0, WMATA.

Metroblogging DC: Metro Unveils New Online Station Maps Powered By Google

Metro’s unveiled new online maps for their stations, which include local business listings, all powered by Google Maps.

Well, not exactly. I mean, they still have all their vowels, and I don’t think they have an AJAX “search as you type” function. But they’ve finally gotten a decent map. The next step would be to integrate local public transportation search into Google Maps. That would be cool. You could choose driving or walking or riding public transportation when you tried to get directions. They’re probably working on it.

Whoa, there

What’s going on at Mount Vernon Square Metro?  I’ve been riding the Green line to there and picking up the Yellow line to get to Pentagon City since March.  Yesterday, the Green line train overshot its normal stopping point by about half a six-car train-length.  This wouldn’t have been such a big deal, except that I usually sit in one of the back two cars – they tend to be less crowded as everyone stuffs themselves into the middle few cars.

I refuse to run for a Metro (Which is probably a little silly, but I don’t care.), but I will walk briskly.  Which I did, and I made it before they closed the doors.

Then, this morning, the Green line train stopped at about that same spot, half a train-length past the normal spot.  The Yellow line picked up at the normal spot.

What is Metro trying to do?  I don’t appreciate it.  I’m a creature of habit, which includes standing in the same spot on the platform every day.  And I expect the train to cooperate.