Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why Does Metro Continue To Disappoint?

Last night was a Metro night for The African Queen and I. And once again Metro continued to disappoint.

Getting to Nationals Park was not the problem. Our Tuesday night departure to Navy Yard Station occurred during rush hour. Plenty of trains, quick service. No issues.

Then after the ballgame concluded, nothing worked right.

Walking into The Navy Yard Station at 10:08PM to head home, there is a Green Line Train heading to Mt. Vernon Square on the tracks. The Arrival/Departure Signs read "Next Train Departing in One Minute". We need this train to transfer at L'Enfant Plaza to head back toward Northern Virginia and eventually Franconia-Springfield Station.

We board the train and wait and wait and wait. 25 minutes later the door chimes sound and off we go.

To only wait again at L'Enfant Plaza. Upon arriving at this major transfer point, there are hundreds, if not near 1000 folks jammed into the station. Siting track maintenance--Metro has shutdown it's entire blue line service from Rosslyn to King Street. And the only way any passenger can get to Pentagon, Pentagon City, Crystal City, National Airport, Braddock Road and King Street is by taking a Yellow Line train to Huntington.

Then, those passengers heading to what is also our final stop must take a special shuttle train to reach Van Dorn Street or Franconia-Springfield.

Fine. But--oh by the way--that yellow line train will not be here for another 45 minutes.

Yes--45 MINUTES!! Not one single yellow line train to Virginia in nearly 3/4th of an HOUR!!

As usual, no explanations from any Metro Employees. Few details to assist passengers.

Like why?

10:08PM arrival time to Navy Yard Station.
10:33PM arrival time at L'Enfant Plaza
11:18PM departure time from L'Enfant Plaza
11:38PM arrival time at King Street
11:53AM arrival time at Franconia-Springfield
12:07AM arrival time at our home

1 Hour and 59 Minutes for what is suppose to be a 35 minute trip.

Absolutely absurd.

Does Metro ever understand customer service?

If Metro Is The Way To Go, then The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority failed again last night. If you promise to take thousands to a single event--you can't abandon them on their way home. You can't say--Oh, sorry, we have track work to do tonight.

The most important assignment for ANY METRO EMPLOYEE is to get their patrons through their system in a timely matter--not leave everyone stranded, sweating on a humid platform at L'Enfant Plaza Station wondering if they will ever get home on a work night.

Yet Metro has decided they will continue this track work maintenance through Thursday evening of this current home stand involving Our Washington Nationals.

Great. So don't expect us to be using your service.

Thanks again Metro for not caring about your paying customers and continuing to disappoint. Yes, we understand, Metro needs to maintain their system, but not at the expense of those attending an event in downtown DC. One in which you ask fans to depend on you. There is no excuse for Metro to not plan their maintenance around the baseball game and for not one single Yellow Line Train to take baseball fans home to Virginia for 45 minutes last night from L'Enfant Plaza Station--August 18th, 2009.


Suzanne said...

Hi there. I don't ride Metro much, however, I did see something on the news the other day about delays because of major maintenance this month.

Here is info from the 8/5/2009 press release:
This month, Metrorail Blue and Yellow Line riders should build 45 minutes to their weeknight, late evening trips as the transit agency prepares to conduct a major track maintenance rehabilitation program during the three-day Labor Day holiday weekend.

SenatorNat said...

Plus, no special birthday car for SBF!(METRO's new motto - "If you rail us, we wouldn't rail you!")

Trust in METRO to screw up a proverbial "one-car funeral." All underground.

On a sidetrack, is Stan the Man's biting sarcasm funnier before or after you are displaced by someone from your old operation with the same vowel at the end of his surname? I, say:
Either way, it's an underground railroad...

(And riding that train's ca-boose, it's always the friendly fly-shagging scion, isn't it? Mark my words...)

MikeHarris said...

The next time I ride Metro to a game, you can take it as confirmation that I have died and send some flowers.
The only way I will ever get on a train to/from a game again is if I'm dead.

tvtech_dir said...

I totally agree with you! Metro has really taken a bad turn. Last year, when Nats Park first opened, they did a great job... trains every couple of minutes (even at L'Enfant Plaza). But, a few weeks later, after the media stopped talking about the "great job" Metro was doing (and I say this as a member of the media), they quickly started reducing the number/size of trains and the staffing in the stations.

Now, this year, more of the same. On top of that, the staff at the Navy Yard station are extremely rude, yelling at you to "move all the way down the the end of the platform"... even if the next train is a 6 car train (that doesn't load from the end of the platform). About a month ago, I saw one of the employees get right up into an old man's face, and basically push him down the platform. How is this acceptable?

Look, they've got us right where they want us: Either pay a few bucks to ride Metro, or pay a lot more to park your car. After what I've seen from Metro, I'd rather NOT give them another penny. We'll be driving from now on.

Anonymous said...

These days, Metro is definitely NOT the way to go. Since the major incident last month, the whole system has turned into a nightmare.

John R. said...

What an unbelievably frustrating experience for you folks on Metro. The Metro spokesman, Lisa Farbstein was on WMAL yesterday to comment about The Examiner's story on Metro. The story said that ridership had slipped from July 2008 to July 2009. Farbstein's response was profane and had to be bleeped for broadcast. And that's their spokesperson! So, I guess they are all on edge over at Metro.

Although your experience was awful, today's Examiner detailed all the deadly incidents that have happened with Metro this summer.

nynatsnut said...

My own experience with METRO is the same as with NYC Transit.

The employees honestly believe the system is run for their benefit, which includes vacation days, medical and dental, raises. The riders are just a "minor" annoyance in the way.

Edward J. Cunningham said...

You know, it might not be a bad idea for the Lerners to twist a few arms at city hall to get some more parking across the river. Wasn't that supposed to be where a D.C. United stadium was going to be? Fenty killed the project when he didn't get the development he wanted, but NOTHING is being done there. Absolutely NOTHING! So why not use it for day of game parking and (in lieu of a pedestrian bridge) have a shuttle bus or ferry bring fans to the stadium?

John R. said...

A word of praise for the Nats Shuttle from RFK. While my Metro experiences have not been as awful as SBF's were, neither have they been pleasant. In contrast, the Nats Shuttle is waiting for us and we usually board immediately and sit in comfortable seats in air-conditioned comfort. And the Nats Fan Ambassadors are pleasant and friendly, in contrast to what I am hearing about the Metro employees.

I'll only take Metro if I have to get to the game before the Nats Shuttle begins operating.

Janet said...

The blue line track maintenance sounds like a nightmare. I've had a somewhat better experience with Metro, but I live along the Orange line in Arlington. I try very hard to avoid the transfer at L'Enfant Plaza. After games, I take the Circulator bus to Eastern Market, (or walk from the park to Capitol South) and then take the subway to Rosslyn. From there I sometimes make it to a bus. If the wait for the bus is more than a few minutes, my back up plan is to take a taxi.

It usually works.

Anonymous said...

I hardly ever ride metro because even on it's best days it takes way too long. Especially, if you have to switch trains. Then couple that with the parking and fair cost and Nats parking is worth it.

Last year I had a $15 dollar parking pass for Lot V. I would get to my home in Herndon within 42 minutes. I bet you could have been home before that first train starts moving!

SEc 317 said...

I have also given up on Metro to the games from Bethesda. Way too long to get home, usually one hour, after the games. Yes, last year they got off to a great start but by May had really fallen off. So I elect to pay $25 to park and whatever else for gas. That's a bad commentary for Metro.