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Washington DC metro..

Washington DC metro..

Old Feb 8, 12, 6:57 pm
  #1  
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Washington DC metro..

In my recent visit to DC, I noticed that Metro trains are very poorly maintained. Torn seats, mismatched color seats, torn and worn out carpets, unbelievably dirty doors, peeling paint, .. could go on and on. Also, fares have gone up substantially and I calculated very little financial incentive for people to take the train as opposed to their cars. Often there is delay, escalator out of service (try walking up a non-moving escalator if you are a senior citizen, particularly at some of the stations), track repair, and other inconveniences.
I usually feel safe and comfortable in DC metro but this time, it was a disappointment.
Are there any other complainers/lamenters about the decline of mass transit systems?
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Old Feb 8, 12, 7:58 pm
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Hmm, I use the Metro rail and bus service pretty frequently as I have the misfortune of living in DC, and while it's not up to snuff with Tokyo or Hong Kong, I don't notice many of the issues you've pointed out. Maybe the 3 years I endured in NYC have inured me to minor inconveniences and filth.

In re driving in DC being better than Metro, are you kidding? Have you tried driving and parking here?

Btw, this should likely be in the DC forum.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 8:04 pm
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Probably better in the DC forum, but I find the DC Metro to be reasonably clean. Cars are of all different ages so sometimes you'll notice the older ones which are quite worn. They are due for a complete overhaul over the next 7-10 years. The escalators? yea those are always broken. Elevators are also constantly out of service.

Did you use Metro on the weekend? It's extremely inconvenient on the weekends with all the maintenance they do. It's a system that is designed for the commuter and it's a big issue for WMATA on how to match the needs of riders who rely on Metro to get around.

Also - driving in DC is a nightmare.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 9:38 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Gynob001 View Post
mismatched color seats
Really, that's an issue for you?
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Old Feb 8, 12, 9:49 pm
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The Metro subway car design is from a previous generation where people took care of property. It is unsuited today. Today's subways should not have cushioned seats and carpet.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 10:03 pm
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I kind of disagree with the OP. I have taken the Metro now and then for the past 5 yrs and 5 yrs ago, the Metro definitely needed some kind of facelift or refreshment. In the past 2 yrs I definitely have seen them put in some improvement with the older cars with newer cars and there aren't as many delays on the tracks anymore. I kind of wish though, that some of the cars would go through 1 am (usually the last trains are ~11pmish), I guess that would be my only gripe.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 10:16 pm
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I lived in D.C. briefly a few years ago on an assignment and never really noticed any of those issues on a consistent basis. Obviously there are a few that are more worn than others.

As far as the car issue, it would not have been an option for me, the metro won hands down (cost and convenience).
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Old Feb 8, 12, 11:22 pm
  #8  
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I disagree as well. The seats might be worn, but it's not like the seats in my car are brand new. And I have no idea what "calculations" you are doing if you found very little financial incentive to taking the metro as opposed to driving, not to mention the hassle of parking in the city.
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Old Feb 8, 12, 11:45 pm
  #9  
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Please follow as the thread moves to the Travel->Washington, D.C. forum. Ocn Vw 1K,, Moderator, TravelBuzz.
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Old Feb 9, 12, 8:08 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Gynob001 View Post
In my recent visit to DC, I noticed that Metro trains are very poorly maintained. Torn seats, mismatched color seats, torn and worn out carpets, unbelievably dirty doors, peeling paint, .. could go on and on. Also, fares have gone up substantially and I calculated very little financial incentive for people to take the train as opposed to their cars. Often there is delay, escalator out of service (try walking up a non-moving escalator if you are a senior citizen, particularly at some of the stations), track repair, and other inconveniences.
I usually feel safe and comfortable in DC metro but this time, it was a disappointment.
Are there any other complainers/lamenters about the decline of mass transit systems?
this complaint, like most of your posts, is completely unfounded. picky as i am, i find the metro to be quite decent, and a great asset to the city. there is no reason to pick it apart, and no reason to sespond, other than to ask the readers to check your other posts.
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Old Feb 9, 12, 8:54 am
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I was not complaining but was only expressing what I saw during my recent trip. I took the yellow-red lines from DCA to Bethesda and back and in between I took three side trips, including one on the Orange line.
The mismatched seats were not a complaint but many tourists were pointing to that; that's why I mentioned it.
I do like public transport (DC metro in particular) and my comments were mostly-what went wrong-why is it this shape-sentiment. I paid about $4.55 per trip during peak hour and calculated that the distance in terms of miles traveled would be equivalent to 1 to 2 gallons of gas depending on the car. I am a strong believer in mass transit and was in no way suggesting that people should drive.
In three different trips, I saw torn seats (not just one or two seats-many), lose and dirty carpets, massive amount of dirt/dust on doors etc. I have been visiting and using DC Metro for the past 25 years and I felt that there is a decline in the quality. My posting was not to annoy other members.
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Old Feb 9, 12, 9:10 am
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I ride the metro regularly and I think it would be best described as "tired."
The chronically broken escalators are my biggest beef. One thing I've always thought interesting is how dark it is. In my travels I find most subway platforms quite bright but the DC metro always seems to be strangely dark.
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Old Feb 9, 12, 10:24 am
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Relatively speaking, I think the Washington Metro is still one of the best in the U.S. for cleanliness. Certainly, I would take it any day over the Baltimore subway, SEPTA, BART, or CTA, and on most days NYC Subway, LA MTA, or MBTA.

I ride all five lines regularly, and there are some patterns. I cannot say I have seen a torn seat in 3 or 4 years. The carpets do get dirty on wet days, although I do not think it is noticeable worse compared to 10 years ago. What I do notice is that by 10am many cars are papered over with discarded issues of Metro and the Examiner. On one ride between Metro Center and Wheaton last month this was no exaggeration; even by the doors there was more newspaper than carpet to the eye. The station manager gave me a long stare as I stuffed my armload of papers into the idiotically small slots on the recycling bin.

Back in the day, I actually appreciated coming across a discard Wall Street Journal or Washington Post on the long ride to Shady Grove, but the habit of leaving them behind didn't carry over well into the age of the free tabloid and increased ridership.

Metro is also working through a substantial backlog of deferred maintenance, which is well documented not only on UnsuckDCMetro and DCist but the Post. There is a story this morning on heavier usage and manual control possibly contributing to the epidemic of rail cracks in the last few months.

As far as lighting goes, I actually prefer the dimness of the stations, which is part of the system's architectural style. I believe the designers wanted to avoid the harsh fluorescent glare that characterizes most stations elsewhere.
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Old Feb 9, 12, 11:02 am
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Infrequent visitor/rider of DC Metro but my general opinions:
  • Trains/platforms are very clean
  • Trains are somewhat unpleasant looking and starting to show age/wear similar to some train stations (inoperable escalators, elevators, etc.) however, very functional
  • Customer service at stations is somewhat deplorable
  • Must improve the entrance/exit farecard situation. It seems about a decade behind everything else in the world.
  • In my limited experience quite a few slow downs/delays for no real reason. I understand it isn't a major subway system but reliability is a big deal when deciding between subway/cab.
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Old Feb 9, 12, 11:48 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by RooseveltL View Post
Must improve the entrance/exit farecard situation. It seems about a decade behind everything else in the world.
They already have RFID cards. SmarTrip.
http://www.wmata.com/fares/smartrip/
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