Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Metro's Olden Days: When We Were Willing To Pay For Nice Things

Do you think some day, my grandkids will temporarily turn off their GoogleApple iMmersion Suits 2053 and say, "Grandpa Grant, will you tell us the story again of how Metro used to have carpeting and nice seats?"*

Since DC, Maryland and Virginia (well, mostly Virginia) can't get on the same page about a dedicated funding source for Metro, the transit agency continues to cut wherever it can. Most of the changes aren't visible to riders, like slashing funding for maintenance & long-term improvements.

But last night I got to experience one of the most visible changes for the first time - new cars with dark wool fabric seats instead of the usual orange/brown fake leather and hard floors instead of carpeting:

When Metro first opened, carpeting & padded seats were seen as a good investment to lure finicky DC commuters out of their cars. Now, the theory goes, Metro has plenty of customers and can scale back on the luxury items.

I'm torn on the carpeting - while it does seem unnecessarily expensive, the car felt cold & barren without it. The fabric seats were a bit more alarming. How can I put this? I'd much rather my seat repel whatever was spilled on it rather than absorb it.

* - Of course they'll never turn off their iMmerison Suits. If anything, I'll have to turn on mine to talk to them. Right after I make sure the sea wall's still holding. I told you people about the global warming! But you didn't listen! (Shakes fist at cloud.)

Update 9:11am: Michael Perkins of GreaterGreaterWashington.org adds on Twitter, "I'm telling my grandkids how we used to run trains more than once/hr outside of peak of the peak of the peak of the peak time." But running trains more often, getting more people to work on time & getting more cars off the road would require raising taxes on Virginians each year by $1! SOCIALIST.
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