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.