Will Metro ever have a clean couple of days? The latest blow comes from the National Transit Safety Board, which on Wednesday called for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to be placed under the direct oversight of the Federal Transit Authority. While the NTSB’s move stems back to January’s fatal smoke incident outside the L’Enfant Plaza station, it lands just over a week after a transformer near the Stadium-Armory station caught fire.
Metro’s response to its latest mishap has been far from ideal—that the Silver and Orange lines will skip Stadium-Armory during rush hours for at least six months—but at this point, no one is surprised. The agency wasn’t that vocal about the delays themselves either.
Metro bashing is a popular activity in DC. But it’s all warranted, says Chris Barnes, who runs the Twitter handle @FixWMATA and is the director of membership and outreach at the newly-formed WMATA Riders’ Union. Barnes sees Metro’s biggest problem as one of communications, or lack thereof. People need better information on train schedules, delays, construction projects, and other commuting curveballs.
“Just give riders information so that when they’re frustrated or angry they don’t run away saying, ‘Well, you’re doing nothing,'” says Barnes, who is still holding out for a return of WMATA’s old breaking-news program Metro Forward (which may be best known for its controversial ad campaign).
If you’re stuck on a Red Line platform and looking to get in on the Metro-hating bandwagon, check out these Twitter accounts. Some are pretty informative when it comes to chronicling the issues of the day, and some are purely vitriolic. All, though, owe tremendous debts to How Fucked Is the Metro, the website that best combines Metro griping and useful service advisories.
The Slightly Snarky:
We rant on twitter to keep from crying #wmata
— DC Metro Connection (@DCMConnection) September 30, 2015
This is the chaos that spins out of a death spiral. Hopefully it helps right the ship though. #WMATA
— FixWMATA (@FixWMATA) September 30, 2015
Hoping the next big announcement will be criminal indictments of #wmata personnel. A lot of taxpayer $ has been wasted and/or gone missing
— dcmetrosucks (@dcmetrosucks) September 30, 2015
It’s time for “Transit Rescue” reality TV. #wmata
— Unsuck DC Metro (@unsuckdcmetro) September 30, 2015
Had to take #wmata into DC for meeting. I left 2 hrs early. SL to Largo start-stop-hold!! Ridiculous!!
— DCMetroHotMess (@DCMetroHotMess) September 30, 2015
Haha wow where are all the trains!! Oh jeez I’m gonna be in a lot of trouble if I don’t find these trains
— DC Metro Delays (@DCMetroDelays) September 4, 2015
— Is Metro On Fire? (@IsMetroOnFire) September 8, 2015