Constant Metro repairs making you feel like there aren’t enough swear words in any language to relieve your stress and tension about delays? This list won’t help much in terms of WMATA angst.
1. Metro Tolerates Eating and Drinking…Sometimes
You’ve seen it before. Someone gets on the train and eventually, delicious food smells come wafting your way. Eating on the Metro is supposedly one of those cardinal sins, or at least that’s what WMATA’s public service ads plastered all over its stations try to tell us. But have you ever seen someone get caught for it?
In the latest WMATA crime blotter (for the month of September), there was only one violation for consumption of food. In contrast, there were 60 instances of alcohol violations.
Why the mixed messages?
In April, TBD.com wrote that WMATA doesn’t want to actively enforce ticketing for consumption of food and beverages, and that it knows that there will always be some level of eating and drinking happening on the Metro.
You might compare this to say, jaywalking. We all know it’s bad and it’s technically illegal, but there’s no way cops could catch and arrest every person who does it. However, take this with a grain of salt. Last year, a 12-year-old girl was arrested for eating fries in a Metro station.
Why doesn’t the Metro allow eating and drinking? Just ask New Yorkers. The more liberal MTA has battled with rats for ages.
2. Metro says: 80 percent of Metrorail riders rate high satisfaction with service
A December WMATA report surveying 770 rail and bus riders for customer satisfaction yielded the following nuggets:
-Yellow, Blue and Green riders were more likely to rate reliability of trains as higher compared to Red and Orange line riders. Overall reliability scores were at 69 percent.
-33 percent said they heard announcements on the Metro but did not understand them.
-100 percent of rail riders reported satisfaction with the Metro map.
-80 percent of customers were highly satisfied with rail service. This, by the way, is down 7 percentage points from 2007.
These numbers are pretty impressive, WMATA, but I may have to call bullshit. If your customer satisfaction numbers are correct, why are there multiple Twitter accounts (@fixwmata, @rushminus, @metroderp) and blogs like unsuckdcmetro solely dedicated to bemoaning your existence?
And now for some sobering news. 60 people have tried to commit suicide on WMATA’s train platforms between 2005 and March of this year. Last year, six people killed themselves on rail lines, with 4 unsuccessful attempts. There have been five suicides so far this year. This January, WMATA announced a new initiative to train workers and station managers to detect signs of a possible suicide attempt. The agency has also posted signs listing crisis numbers for people to call at the ends of platforms, where people are most likely to jump.
According to a WMATA press release, suicide attempts are most likely to occur on Saturday, followed by Sunday and Monday.
4. Deanwood is the most dangerous Metro station
A Metro report from March showed that Deanwood, on the Orange line, is the most dangerous station of the system. In 2011, it had 67 cases of dangerous crimes. The second most dangerous Metro station was Anacostia, with L’Enfant Plaza coming in third. The safest were Arlington Cementary, Clarendon, Eisenhower, Farragut West, and Virginia Square—GMU.
5. WMATA unleashed a new social media/online survey website
It seems Metro is trying harder to reach out to customers and actually listen for once. This is good! However, the website, called Momentum, doesn’t leave room for much user-written content. Instead, it relies on polls and surveys to gauge customer opinion, eliminating the ability for people to post the long-winded rants that Metro deserves. Oh well, we have the Metro Forward Facebook page for that!
Around Thanksgiving, Momentum apparently called for users to upload photos of things they were thankful for. This did not go well for them, but it did generate some hilarity for us. The feature has since been taken down.