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Metro: Don’t quit your day job.

January 8, 2009, 8:30 PM

Schumin to Metro: Don’t quit your day job. Check this video out:

Metro’s videos of this sort are usually cheesy, but this one was especially cheesy, with them populating an Alstom train with Dick Cheneys, Condoleezza Rices, and George Bushes, and showing Joe Biden moving to the right on the escalator. Metro, Metro, Metro… you’ve stooped to a new low that I did not know was reachable.

Meanwhile, Metro seems to have gone against common logic when it comes to running its trains as well. Most normal people, when planning where trains should end up when making station stops, would choose to stop trains in such a way that passengers can make the quickest and most efficient use of the escalators for loading and unloading. In most stations, that’s the center of the platform. This week, Metro has been pulling trains all the way to the far end of the platform at all stations. Thus in a station like Dupont Circle with side platforms and two mezzanines, a typical six-car train will overshoot one mezzanine entirely, and place its first car well beyond the final escalator in the other direction, underneath the mezzanine. At a major transfer station like Gallery Pl-Chinatown, as seen from the upper level, the crossing point is at the far outbound end of the station. There, a six-car Red Line train to Shady Grove will stop in such a way that the last car is a full 150 feet from where people transferring want to go. Not smart on Metro’s part.

In most cases, the only time a train should pull to the end of the platform is if the station layout necessitates it (such as at Gallery Pl-Chinatown), or if the train is eight cars. Metro’s platforms are 600 feet long, and an eight-car train fills the platform entirely (each car is 75 feet, times eight equals 600).

Hopefully, this is a temporary change, and things will go back to normal soon. If this is a permanent change to Metro’s operating procedures as a solution to operators of eight-car trains’ stopping at the six-car mark and opening the doors with a car or two off the platform, I am not going to be a happy camper. Metro needs to provide additional training to their personnel, or otherwise take care of things on their end, rather than make visible changes that go against logic and inconvenience passengers.

Web site: Metro's news page. Surprisingly, Metro is mum on the station stop issue.

Song: Amazingly, I can't get the Alstom ONIX sound out of my head...

Quote: So the question is, will this video be as controversial as the Pope video that Metro yanked? We shall see...

Categories: WMATA