City Desk

Metro Bad News Roundup: Delayed Contract, Cheating Workers Edition

The Metro system, once a reliable point of pride for D.C.'s boosters, has had a rough few years: Safety problems, escalator outages, and rising prices have made the subway a regular subject of local griping. At times, it can be hard to keep up with the torrent of unflattering Metro-related scoops. As a public service,Washington City Paper is offering beleaguered riders this irregular round-up of recent media lowlights:

  • A train struck a woman at Rhode Island Ave. Station.
  • Metro won't be opening early enough to accommodate runners in Saturday's National Marathon, though they are opening at 6 a.m., earlier than usual. (The system says there weren't enough potential riders to justify opening at 5 a.m.)
  • Metro delayed extending a $500 million contract, after the board learned one of Metro's own former executives was using insider connections to help lobby.
  • A Metro board member made $36,000 despite missing over half his meetings.
  • Many Metro maintenance workers may not exactly know what they're doing—and they may be cheating on their tests.
  • On the day Metro wanted to proudly unveil its addition of 10 cars to rush hour trains, a power cable failed outside Federal Triangle Station.

In Metro Better News, Washington City Paper editor Michael Schaffer says all this transit complaining means D.C. has finally come-of-age as a city. In our Best Of D.C. 2011 Issue, he writes:

Never have I been more proud of my hometown. Go to one of those global capitals to which Washington loves comparing itself. You'll find great transit, but little subway pride. To the contrary: Londoners whinge about their overcrowded Tube and Parisians curse their ill-managed Metro. Only visitors from the sticks act impressed.

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  • Rick Mangus


  • Metro Hater

    Our metro system is a joke. London and Paris might not have perfect underground transit, but both are worlds better than the sorry excuse for public transportation we have here.

  • Rick Mangus

    'Metro Hater', you are absolutely right and you don't even need to go to Europe just look at New York, Boston or Chicago. All of those systems are ten times older than our METRO and you know what, they don't close when it snows! I keep preaching for a one day organize boycott of METRO, it's seem that money makes them listen and if they don't listen, then let's go for a boycott for a week!