Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Alternative to Metro Aggravation is Not Zero Aggravation

Metro Track Repair VehicleWhen Metro has delays and safety issues, people complain about that. When Metro conducts track work to correct those issues, people complain about that. Does the complaining reflect on Metro, or do people just have more outlets than ever to register minor complaints about everyday life?

The endless cycle of complaining and complaining the complaints weren't instantly & perfectly resolved misses a few points. Metro’s doing track work on weekends and at off-peak times both to avoid direct construction delays at rush hour and to avoid the dreaded "moving momentarily" delays in the future. And it's trying to do all of it with no dedicated revenue stream from DC, Maryland & Virginia.

While dealing with construction delays – or much more annoyingly, bus bridges past closed stations – is a pain, the alternative is not a magic carpet ride. Chances for delays and frustration abound. Traffic on 66 or 395. Construction on the Beltway. And good luck finding parking in Clarendon or Dupont without paying or driving around for 10 minutes hunting for a spot ... about the same time you’d have been delayed on Metro.

And have these people taken the subway in New York City? When weekend construction is going on, the train either doesn't come at all, or you get on and the conductor says, "Due to construction, this train is going express to Nova Scotia," and somehow everyone who lives in NYC knows all this even though there are no signs anywhere.

Look, I understand when you're delayed, it sucks - but then you move on ... right? You don't get that impression reading the daily list of grievances. You get the impression people feel so wronged. Louis CK calls us The Shittiest Generation:

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