Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Metro it is a-changin'

The metro can simultaneously be the best and the worst thing about this city. Okay, no one would say it's the worst, but it's certianly a constant topic of conversation. To end an awkward silence, Washingtonians don't say, "How about that weather?" Instead we say, "Did you see the new metro car plans? What the hell, right??"

I'm sure you folks saw the new plans for the metro cars, ripping out most of the seats and putting more hand rails in. Personally, I'm okay with it, since I usually stand anyway, but I have friends with commutes that take them across the tri-state area everyday and they're less than thrilled with the thought of standing for close to an hour. Of course, no matter who likes it and who doesn't, WMATA will probably do whatever they want anyway.

I was a bit concerned when I read this mugging story via DC Blogs the other day. It's pretty scary and yet not that surprising, except where it happened - NW on the red line. They caught one of the girls involved the other day, but it's still something to think about when you're on the train: look out for yourself, in case no one else is (and let's face it, they probably aren't, and don't care if you call for help).

One of the things this person complains about is the lack of signs on the metro displaying a number you can call when the train operator and the WMATA officers on the platforms blatantly ignore you. Today I hopped on the green line and noticed a long poster on the inside of the car above the windows. It was incredibly wordy and started out with a dictionary-italicized word, something like:

"SUMSPICIOUS (n) - A suspicious package left unattended...blahblahblahBLAHblahblahBLAHBLAHBLAH! If you see one of these 'sumspicious' please call XXX-XXX-XXXX."

Well, that was really fucking helpful. Thanks. If I see a "sumspicious" (clever!), I'll be sure to read your novel before contacting the authorities. And when I do, I'm sure they'll stop immediately and not keep going stop after stop after stop as all the people in the car call the train operater who ignores them and then rapidly exit and pound on the other cars yelling for them to exit and freaking out everyone except the metro authories who ask what package we know nothing of what you speak.


The good news is - the trash cans are back! Are you as excited as me?? My pockets will no longer be cluttered with gum wrappers! My hands will not hold empty starbucks coffee containers for half an hour! Hallelujah!

Quinn wanted me to tell you about the guy who farted every few seconds on his car this morning, but I think I've had enough metro stories for one day.

In lighter news, the rankings have come out for this years most dangerous cities, and DC dropped from 6th to 13th! It's practically utopia over here!

Well, except on the metro I guess.


At 1:24 PM, November 23, 2005, Blogger G. said...

Don't feel bad, BART here in the Bay Area is worse. And on every single commute-hour train from my house in the suburbs, people who get on at 30-35 minutes from the city and closer have to stand. And a good portion of the time, I also have to stand (my ride is 40 minutes). BART does not even see this as a problem that might need fixing.

And also, we have all learned to NEVER report sumspicious packages, because it will inevitably result in all trains being halted in every direction, and that particular station being evacuated and shut down, for at least an hour while BART incompetently deals with the sumspiciousness. And now you've turned thousands of people's commutes into a nightmare because somebody accidentally left behind their gym bag.

At 2:05 PM, November 24, 2005, Blogger Saucy Lil' Tart said...

I totally love the Metro. I don't know, I mean, I spent about a semester and a summer in DC (so maybe not enough), but I've always had a love/love relationship with the Metro. I never even mind waiting. It gives me an excuse to be late (which I LOVE!). Plus, it's not nearly as confusing or unsafe as the NYC subway system, from which I must scour myself upon exiting. Ick.


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