A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Metro, PR champion The much-maligned subway learns to tweet.

Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

For a brief moment, “^DS” signaled a new day. After years of obstructive communication, the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority had finally hired a dedicated public relations official who appeared transparent, competent, and enthusiastic about his job. Dan Stessel was warmly received by Twitter’s legion of Metro-haters, signing his tweets with his initials, and he seemed to engender a little bit of love for a beleaguered transit system. But as 2011 winds down, Stessel’s presence has become less and less noticeable. He no longer issues rapid-fire responses to inquiries. Tweets of Metro alerts once again come with little detail. The agency proved itself capable of letting in sunlight, but perhaps sustainability was too much to expect.

Our Readers Say

Stessel still works there? I figured he'd seen the gang signs written in marker on the inside of the subway car and fled the inevitable crashing of the Red Line.

Sarles hasn't made any improvements and WMATA continues to spend money on boondoggles like PR and "secret" riders, instead of acknowledging and addressing the basic design problem of a two track system.
Dan's just another Sarles crony brought down to staff up the comms team for a HEFTY salary. Are you seriously telling me there was no one in DC who could tweet as well as Dan does (did)?

Metro's a piece of shit, and there's not a way to spin it otherwise.

Metro should just delete the PR dept and use that money toward something that makes their case for them--good service.

That'll be the day.
Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. This is a process, and change will not be instant. (It's also important to resist the temptation to look for communication solutions to deeper problems.) I absolutely understand our customers' frustrations, and rest assured, we are working every day to do better.

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