Okay, I have come to the conclusion that riding the Metro is utterly annoying. Here’s why:
- You’re not in control of your commute. The waiting time in between transfers is unpredictable. Obviously, during rush hour, there’s a shorter wait time. With rush hour, I’m not a fan of standing around scheming about how I’m going to knock over everyone in my way. It’s really not fun when you’re packed on an outdated metro car like a pack of sardines. Sometimes, there’s the occasional breakdown, which can set you back.
- Germs. I’m not a germophobe, but I do like to be conscious of my surroundings. I try not to touch a door handle or pole unless I need to prevent myself from flying into someone’s lap. Not to mention, there always that one person who’s coughing incessantly. Gross. Don’t even get me started on flu season… see kidshealth.org article.
- Metro car operators. It’s the most uncomfortable ride when your life is in the hands of a jerky metro car operator. (By the way, did you know they make up to $100,000 a year?) Yesterday, the operator came to a slow, jerky stop. Each time I thought the car was stopping, it picked up again only to stop again suddenly. Talk about a headache.
- No unlimited pass? This one perplexes me. The D.C. Metro operates its finances a little differently than MTA or CTA does. After spending time on the El in Chicago and Subway in New York City, I came to the assumption that all rail car service providers allow commuters an option to purchase an unlimited monthly ridership pass. I quickly realized that I was wrong. The Metro has no option to purchase a flat monthly pass. At least they have the SmarTrip®, which I thought you could re-load on the Internet, but I can’t find it. Do you know how I can add money to my card online? By the way, it’s cheaper to take the Metro, which in my case would be $357.20 a month as compared with $514.80, according to this Commuter Calculator tool.
- Mood killer. Whenever I am forced to ride the Metro, due to inclement weather or car repairs, I often find myself in a depressed mood because of the environment. Many riders on the Metro look tired, moody, cranky, or just plain old blank. If I get lucky, someone will smile at me, which is highly contagious — hence, why I *try* to do it myself. Okay, so maybe you’re not a morning person, I’m not either. That’s why I like to drive and listen to Jack Diamond’s crew on 107.3 — they always get me laughing and ready for the day.
You’re probably thinking, “So, if she hates it so much, then why does she ride the Metro?” Answer: I had to drop off my car for maintenance at a local gargage and take the Metro to work. While it was a hassle, I’m thankful that I have options. Do know that I am an advocate for public transportation, however, it is simply not for me during commuting hours.
*UPDATE* 12/15/08 — This article has been linked to on DC Blogs.