Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Red Line rider: What Metro officials don’t see

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Do any of the Metro policymakers bother to ride the Red Line to Shady Grove during afternoon rush? If they did, they would observe the following:

*The Grosvenor trains are never full. Far from in it. Many, if not most of the Grosvenor passengers are on that train for one of two reasons: (a) They got on the train without paying attention to the final destination. (b) They wanted a less crowded train and seat, at least, part way to Shady Grove.

*The Shady Grove trains are always packed. Why? I’m glad you asked. Only half of the trains go all the way to Shady Grove, which is the end of the Red Line. More people use that station than any other between it and Metro Center. It services commuters from as far away as West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

*There is a mad rush to get out of the station. We feel like cattle. Why do we rush to the exit you ask? Because, the policy makers decided to spend millions on parking garages and nothing on increased exit capacity. If I don’t wedge myself in the middle car of the train (near the exit) and run down the stairs, I miss my bus. If you want to increase use of pubic transportation, this is not the way to do it.

*It would be nice if the Ride On buses would run every 15 minutes and wait until the appointed time to leave the station. This begs a question regarding Ride On policymakers.

David Jefferson, Germantown