Skoozeme, Skoozeme, Skoozeme

The Washington Metro

The other Washington (Washington, DC) has a subway system which, in its 86 stations, has a total of 588 escalators. This is more than any other US public transportation system, and Metro includes the longest escalators in the Western Hemisphere (Wheaton)

The subway, when built by Morrison-Knudsen (opened approx. 1976), was a state-of-the-art system. It features carpeted cars, with Automatic Train Control (ATC) allowing the trains to precisely align their stops. Back in the late 1970s and early '80s the trains and stations were remarkably clean. (Now it's one of the more dirty systems in the country.)

One of the "upgrades" is the institution of mostly meaningless announcements:

"Please move to the center of the car." -- The center of the car is always the most crowded part of the car.

"Please use all doors." -- WTF? I thought passengers naturally use all open doors. The vestibule doors are not used in Metro. Do passengers need an announcement not to use the unopened doors on the opposite side?

"You'll notice people [on the escalators] standing on the right." -- and what does that mean? That you advertise that patrons engage in dangerous practices? The posted signs say to stay away from the sides precisely because escalator balustrades (sideplates) are dangerous. (The announcements should clearly state, "Please stand to the center of the escalators, away from the sides. Do not walk on an escalator.")

Eating or drinking is not permitted anywhere on the system.     ... which is actually correct only in one jurisdiction.

Safety Issues on WMATA's Escalators

International Escalator Safety Tour
Metro's attempt to bring Washington to Third World safety standards.

Is Metro Authorised to Tell Passengers Whether They Can Drink Coffee in Virginia?

It's clear why WMATA calls its passengers "customers" and not "riders" or "patrons". "Customers" are treated with utter contempt and total disregard for safety.

Courtesy of Stan Protigal

Comments about this site: email me

first posted 22-Apr-18; rev 29-Apr-18 This page copyright 2010, Stan Protigal

privacy policy