Monday, March 03, 2008
You've heard it. I've heard it. Has anyone in the Greater Washington, DC Area not received the word yet?
"Take Metro". Take Metro--its the most convenient and safest way to get to and from New Nationals Park.
Team President Stan Kasten has repeated this phrase from the very moments The Lerner's took over Our Washington Nationals.
And, Metro has known this upcoming March 29th Opening Date was coming for a long, long time.
Has not Metro responded positively--each and every time Metro has been questioned about its ability to step up to the plate? Everything will be fine, they continually state. How many times has The Transit Agency claimed they are not only committed to a quality effort--but expect to prove how reliable the system can be for patrons. Metro General Manager John Catoe has continually stated these words.
"Think outside the car," is Metro's mantra.
Well, Metro's announcement that now Fans must stagger their times when leaving The New South Capitol Street Ballpark to alleviate crowding at The Navy Yard Station is not what anyone should be hearing just three weeks before the first game. That's unacceptable. Once again--a negative against the transit agency.
Yes, I understand that The Green Line will be overcrowded. Yes, I understand during Rush Hour there will be a major taxing of the transit system. And, I understand that no one but The City Council and Major League Baseball wanted the ballpark at this particular location--in the first place. But, South Capitol Street is the spot everyone is stuck with. And now is not the time--to once again--start making excuses.
Metro is a fine system, but it continually fails in customer service. When The African Queen called me this afternoon to tell me the news about Metro (I am away on assignment all week), I just started laughing. Whether Metro can provide top flight service to patrons of Our Washington Nationals and their daily communting customers--they owe EVERYONE the right to know The Transit Agency is doing the very best for each and everyone holding a farecard. No one should be worrying about when to leave the ballpark. The point is to enjoy yourself and be entertained. Not--to fret over getting home. That's absurd.
No--not now--after all that's been said concerning parking and transportation issues at New Nationals Park.
I don't care about Metro's excuses. Just like I don't care for their weekend service these days. On Saturdays and Sundays most every line is single tracking for repair--30 to 45 minutes delays are customary. How much more inconvenience will those delays add to Metro's now expected crush of fans at The Navy Yard, L'enfant Plaza and Capitol South Stations on game days. You know--that weekend work is going to continue.
Frustrating is the only way to describe Metro. The Quasi-Governmental Agency could do so much better. Yet, they continually fail where it counts the most--Customer Service.
That's sad, but not unexpected.
PS--I am in Texas right now for Tuesday's Presidential Primary--after working an assignment in the Orlando Area over the past few days. Although I have a lot in the can to write about about Our Washington Nationals--its conceivable I will not be able to post again until Thursday. There is just not enough time in the day right now. How ironic though--that I drove right past Kissimmee and The Houston Astros Ballpark yesterday while Our Washington Nationals were playing there. No, I couldn't stop--but it didn't keep me from chuckling over the situation at hand.