Day #110: Vandal – “Mad as Hell”
When I first moved from Florida to DC, I thought it was the greatest thing in the world to finally live somewhere with a metro system. Gas isn’t cheap anymore. It takes forever to drive anywhere no matter what time of day you’re on the road. And, parking takes another 40 minutes. But, after nearly 8 years of living here in DC, I loathe having to deal with the metro.
Surprisingly little attention has been given by major news sources to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) blatant incompetence and gross negligence. (Although several blogs do a good job of documenting the problems). No one is accountable for anything. For example, Metro was aware of the problems that caused the 2008 rail crash that killed several people, but did nothing to fix it.
As a result, we have the most expensive and most problematic public transportation system in the country. (Well done, team!) Ask anyone who commutes via metro on a regular basis and there won’t be any short list of complaints. Constant delays. Escalators in perpetual disrepair. “Hot cars” and “hot stations” (i.e. train cars and stations without working air condition that are so hot you want to vomit). Rude attendants. Lack of enforcement of the rules (especially, the No Eating and Drinking rules, despite the concern about rat infestations). Slow or no response to crime. And, I don’t even want to know what’s been causing the fish odor in the downtown stations for the last several months.
The biggest slap in the face is the “Rush Hour Reinvented Campaign,” which is a euphemism for yet another fare hike in July (approved by Congresspeople who may work in DC, but wouldn’t be caught dead on public transportation). It has left many (including myself) looking for alternatives to getting around DC.
What that said, I hope FixWMATA’s petition campaign calling for the Senate to do a complete audit of WMATA has some long-term success. After all, trimming the fat looks good during an election year.