Its been a year since the Red Line crash. What has really changed?
- Catoe is gone. This has to be a good thing… WMATA has been in major need of a change at the top in order to (hopefully) trigger changes from top down. However the effects of replacing him remain to be seen.
- Trains are still running in manual mode. Aside from the herky-jerky train movement, it seems very odd that on the Next Train Arrival signs it more often then not displays a train as boarding (that has already left the platform) and the next train behind it is arriving in the station. If whatever is telling the sign that a train is boarding, how come its not telling the train coming into the station that there is a train at the platform?? (Yes I know there is no train at the platform…)
- NextBus – This is an A. Some mornings its not working, but more often than not it is.
- Fare Hikes… Blah. But I’m fine with them as long as they do not make any service cuts.
- Communication. This I think is the one area that has made good forward progress. Remember last year? Any e-alert from WMATA referred to either a Major or Minor disruption due to “Mechcanical Difficulties” or “Sick Customer”. There was no way to gage what the heck was happening and how you may need to find an alternate route home (or where ever you were headed). The alerts right after the Red Line accident referred to “Train with Mechanical Problems”.
Twitter of course erupted calling out WMATA for this understatement of the year… and it was then updated to a delay due to “Police Activity” – still not accurate, and this is why I suggest getting breaking news alerts from WTOP.
Fast forward to 2010. WMATA is better at the alerts… now they will actually refer to “Derailment” or “Person Struck by Train”…. and it really does help.
WMATA has a long way to go….And I am kinda surprised they have started the expansion to Dulles, without solving some of these basic problems, especially with the Governor of Virginia threatening to withhold its share of WMATA funding.