Friday, February 06, 2009
The Public's Trust
Metro never ceases to amaze me with their shortsightedness. From accidents, to poor service, to downright thievery on part of their very own employees, Washington's Subway system has always been an enigma--much needed but never fully satisfactory. Always quick to pat themselves on the back when they succeed (The recent Presidential Inauguration comes to mind), The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority continually and rarely faces up to their inadequate and never ceasing customer relations problems.
Now comes Metro's latest PR snafu.
Like many businesses around The Greater Washington, DC Area and our country itself, there is a big pinch thanks to a serious recession. Money is tight and businesses are cutting back. Job layoffs are happening all over. Life is not fun for many. And Metro finds itself with yet another serious budget shortfall to cover. The Transit Agency needs to find ways to make their ends meet--that's understandable. But two of the proposals being reported to save Metro money in the future include--shutting down the entire Metro System at 10PM on Weeknights--and eliminating the Yellow Line service every weekend. Talk about cutting off your nose despite your face--once again Metro fails to prioritize what's important to their future as a Public Transit System.
They are suppose to transport the public--not turn the public away.
Understanding that these are just IDEAS thrown out on the table for possible consideration--why not just go ahead and tell Our Washington Nationals, The Washington Capitals, The Washington Wizards, DC United and just about any entertainment venue in Downtown Washington DC to provide for their own patrons--personal transportation to and from their respective events. Because if Metro shuts down those services as proposed--chaos breaks out. The scramble will be on to get customers in and out of venues with unreliable ease. A problem Metro will lay off on every single Entertainment and Sports Venue in The Nation's Capital, wiping their hands clean of an uproar Metro will be responsible for starting themselves. Upsetting everyone save, most likely, The Washington Redskins. Because you can bet the ranch that even if these drastic measures do eventually go through--METRO would step up to the plate for The Washington Redskins for each and every home game. Shudder the thought if anyone goes against The Burgundy and Gold and their 90,000 odd fans at Fed Ex Field.
Sports Teams and Entertainment Venues are already seeing a drop off in extra-curricula spending. Tickets are not being sold at a brisk pace these days. Many families and individuals are cutting back, saving their hard earned dollars for necessities--not Sports or The Theatre. So, if Metro follows through with their proposal to shutdown service at 10PM on weeknights and The Yellow Line every weekend--they might as well tell Our Washington Nationals, National Theatre and just about every other revenue producing entertainment business in town to take a hike--and find somewhere else to play.
Once again--those running Metro just don't get it. Shortsighted these proposals are and one of the very reasons Metro is so lacking of the public's trust.
Metro--please find a better way to save our tax given and fare dollars. There is no excuse for cutting back major service when so many businesses and people demand it from you. Understand Metro, you need to get your own house in order first, before you end up stranding so many more riders inside their very own homes--with nowhere else to go.
Not only will Metro make even less money, but so will most any other business in Washington that depends on you.