Regarding Eddie Dean’s “Paying the Troll” (7/11), I too have noticed a kinder, gentler sort of station manager just in the years that I have been in the D.C. area. Among my more positive experiences:
•While on a Red Line last summer, I got stung by a bee that was crawling on a window. I attempted to bear stoically the searing pain. The station manager at Gallery Place-Chinatown rummaged through his first aid bag and produced a Band-Aid and some sort of cream.
•Caught in a downpour without an umbrella one night last month, the Metro farecard turned to mush in my pocket. With the last train for the evening rumbling into the station and with no time to purchase a new fare card, the station manager at McPherson Square let me pass around the gate. Explanation rehearsed, I got off at College Park, but the station manager, thoroughly uninterested in my story, also let me pass around the gate.
•Another time, on a nearly empty platform at College Park, when I was perhaps standing too close to the edge, a voice boomed, “You’re gonna’ get hurt real bad if you fall onto those tracks!”
The flip side to all of this, though, is the increasing disrespect shown by some people toward the system. Smoking, spitting, and eating/drinking are now quite common, with the culprits showing their “premeditation” by avoiding the surveillance cameras. Litter and graffiti are also on the increase.
Lastly, I have an observation about one of the photographs that accompanied the article: Charles Marcellus is the station manager at the Capitol Heights Blue Line station. However, in the photo, he is shown inside a kiosk that lists “last train times” for U Street-Cardozo and Huntington, two Green and Yellow Line terminus stations, respectively. They are given as 11:35 p.m. for Green Line U Street-Cardozo and 12:37 a.m. for Yellow Line Huntington. Therefore, I conclude that the photo was actually taken at Eisenhower Avenue Metro in Alexandria.
College Park, Md.
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