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January 9, 2017

img_20170107_080825275Cold, empty tunnels lingered for upwards of 30 minutes as nothing short of a regular weekend on the beleaguered DC Metro .

If WMATA wanted to start a Gofundme to fund their SafeTrack program, would you donate?

To the daily commuters of the DMV that actually use the 41-year old aging heavy rail system, you would get mixed (mostly vulgar and petty) responses.  It would seem that the nation’s second-busiest heavy rail system would have a better approach on comforting the loyal commuters than playing the “mum’s the word” card on their constant single-tracking, bus bridge, and shutting down of important lines every other day.

Prior to the Transportation Camp DC conference this weekend at George Mason University-Arlington Campus, warnings went out not of the pending snow that blanketed the area, but that there was absolutely ZERO rail access between Rosslyn, the first Northern Virginia stop across the Potomac, and McPherson Square near the White House.  There was a host of other delays, but in a gist, the largest throughput on this system was not on line this weekend. I was treated to a bus bridge from Foggy Bottom to Rosslyn en route to the conference, with thoughts running through my head on if  I should even bother making my connection to Union Station via metro later that day.


I skipped it as the train never showed up after 30 minutes for me only to make three transfers for an estimated two hours of travel. Lyft be a lady tonight.


I get it.  The DC Metro, along with BART in the Bay Area came up in a time when Federal dollars were easier to come by compared to now as the second-generation of heavy rail systems in North America. The expansion was quick, but the maintenance was not. Now, with transit ridership at an all-time high, as well as the district’s population, what is an agency to do?  Promises of an even larger shutdown on Super Bowl Weekend apparently doesn’t soothe the soul, but as someone who knows about single-tracking, I explore other options within the metro.  The Metrobus system is pretty solid and offers many parallel routes that could help.  Promote much?

I mean, there’s always the Gofundme approach. If they can do so for Betty White to stay alive, so could metro.


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