Here are my suggestions of changing Metro after another delay today:
1. Have 8 car trains during rush hour.
There are a lot of people that commute in DC. Most of the time it will get crowded. Sadly, its still an issue and expanding to 8 cars is necessary. People are coming into DC in records and you have to keep up with the demand.
2. More spacing in the cars.
Metro just redesign their trains recently to make it look spacious and it does work. More bench seats, more room to stand. The current alignment, the seats take space, but I like the progress they’re going.
3. Countdown when the door closes
With a new voice of Metro, I would think they would have a countdown for closing the doors. Nope, its the dong still and I hear people breaking legs and litigation abound for Metro.
4. Utilize your SmartTrip card online as well where people can put money using their card.
Saves time and benefit for people who bought the SmartTrip card of going to the machines. More flow to Metro.
5. Open 24 hours
If they worry about pay, don’t. Think of everyone: the conductors, the people, the kids. Have a set pay for people work in 6 or 8 hour shifts. It’s still normal working hours and treat them like a typical 9-5 worker. Pay should be good in the next few years and the train doesn’t drive itself.
6. A little entertainment, but not much
Today, I actually like the speaker keeping everyone calm by being funny and demanding. I don’t want him talking throughout my trip but each stop is fine. Oh Metro, no music on the trains, I got my own, thank you.
7. Someone needs to fix the escalators.
If you live in DC area, this is self-explanatory.
8. More ads
First I’m not a big fan of putting ads on anything public, but this is must for two reasons. One reason is Metro needs to be outside the box and create a cash flow. Although some of the ads are foofy, some can be effective like on the Red Line with the tunnel ads. The second reason is Metro is probably the most unattractive subway system in the world. The subway is gray or shades of it unlike in Paris or New York. I don’t mind ads on ceilings to make it appealing, although that will be selling out. Make the Metro colorful, not a serious destination (oh wait I live in DC, it is a serious town). If it doesn’t work, make the Metro polka dot.
Dan Tangherlini, I hope your reading. Your halfway there, but you got a long way to go.