Children of the Sun > Newsday

DC Metro: The money's gone, and we're going to punish you

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nacho:
So they've been trying to dramatically raise the fares for the Metro.  All while they talk big about the 1.8 billion dollar Purple Line that actually makes the Metro useful to people who don't live and work at Metro Center (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_Line_%28Washington_Metro%29) and telling us that they're also going to cut costs by running shorter trains in the off hours and unveiling new train cars.

So you're raising our fares so you can spend more money and cut service?

So, the new train cars have two "experimental" features.  The first is fewer and smaller seats.  The cars go from 70 seats to 54 seats, many of which are set up bench style.  According to the Washington Post, the smaller seats were receiving complaints even at the unveiling yesterday.  America's got the Fat Disease and Metro is putting out seats that are 18 inches wide?

They are also having cars that have rubber skids instead of carpeting because -- duh -- carpeting gets dirty.  In fact, they said today that it costs them $5,200 per car just to clean the carpet. 

So, guys, that's significant when we start talking about budget shortfalls.  Where would we be today if you all had ripped up that always filthy outdoor carpeting shit years ago?

A great example of what the Metro is turning into comes from an op/ed letter in Sunday's Post:


--- Quote ---Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I do not use Metro often, as I am retired. On the occasions I do go into the city, I find it very convenient, but we had a rather annoying experience on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

My son and I and his two young children parked at the Dunn Loring Station and took Metro to the Natural History Museum. The ride on Metro was as much fun to the children as the museum visit.

Coming home, we boarded at Smithsonian and began to notice a lot of slowing down and stopping. We were not surprised when it was announced that the train would be taken out of service at West Falls Church. We were told that a train would be along soon.

It came in about five minutes, but just as we were boarding, another announcement was made that this train was being taken out of service due to an emergency. So we went upstairs to ask what was happening. The station manager was quite rude, made a call after some insistence on my son's part and told us another train would be coming.

Down we went, only to discover that that train was being taken out of service, too! My son finally cornered the train operator to ask him what was the emergency and what should we do. The driver said he wasn't supposed to tell but there was a fire at the Dunn Loring Station and that we should take a cab.
--- End quote ---

I'm not supposed to tell you, but a ball of flame is about to explode out of the tunnel.  Please let go of my arm, I've got to get out of here!!

monkey!:

--- Quote ---I'm not supposed to tell you, but a ball of flame is about to explode out of the tunnel.  Please let go of my arm, I've got to get out of here!!
--- End quote ---

Ha ha!

At least you don't have constant fucking metro strikes like in Paris. Work shy bastards.

RottingCorpse:
That's hilarious.

Okay, actually it'snot. The fact that the nation's capital has opne of the most underfunded, poorly managed public transportation systems is kind of scary.

I wonder if the EL in Chicago and the BART/MUNI in San Francisco have these same problems.

nacho:

--- Quote from: RottingCorpse on December 05, 2007, 10:24:34 AM ---I wonder if the EL in Chicago and the BART/MUNI in San Francisco have these same problems.

--- End quote ---

They do not, because the city/state subsidizes them.  What the Metro runs into is that they have to negotiate for funding from the Feds as well as Maryland, DC, and Virginia.  And nobody wants to fund them.  Plus DC can't afford to, so everyone else has to help out.  Too many chiefs.

Fares account for close to 60% of the revenue, with the various local, state and federal governments all providing only 40%...and they want to put in less.  The voters in Maryland and NOVA want Metro to be completely funded by fares and advertising while at the same time demanding Metro expand to better service them.

Two years ago, Congress tried to get Metro federal funding that would keep it afloat for the next five years.  The bill was killed in the Senate because Metro was failing to take adequate "accountability measures" (e.g., there's a fire going on and we don't want to tell you because it's bad PR, also our driver is drunk and undertrained).

As a result of that bill being killed, Federal funding has been drastically reduced.  The weight of funding is now on the local and state governments who are all woefully stretched thin because they're focusing on roads.

fajwat:

--- Quote from: nacho on December 05, 2007, 10:39:14 AM ---The weight of funding is now on the local and state governments who are all woefully stretched thin because they're focusing on roads.

--- End quote ---

Dude, they better focus on roads, because Metro sucks!!  Only suckers like you and me ride it now; everyone else has given up.

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