Blog Archive

Monday, September 17, 2012

Things I Won't Miss About DC: Part 2 -- The Metro

I have been riding the Metro to and from work every day for over five years now. At first, it was cool: I lived in Rosslyn so it wasn't that far, and I didn't have a car so I appreciated the 'convenience' of having a network of public transit at my disposal.

Then there was the infamous red line crash of 2009. Then I moved to Van Dorn, near the end of the line. And then they raised prices while the system continued to deteriorate.

Now, I can't wait to never ride that godawful excuse for a rail system again. EVER. Here's why:

It's Expensive As Fuck

When the Batmobile costs less on a per-mile basis, you're doing it wrong. And trust me, riding in the Batmobile is wayyyyyyy cooler than dealing with shit like this every day.

Nearly Everyone It Employs Is Either Stupid, Mean, or Both

It's like they have a personal vendetta against every single person who rides in the system. Dealing with them is something you want to avoid like the plague. I always feel bad for the tourists who ask them questions, not knowing any better. It's the ultimate "welcome to DC" middle finger.
He'll wake up when it's break time, but not a moment before then!

Shit is All Busted

This applies to everything Metro-related. The tracks are all busted and trains like to derail. The trains are all busted and are either 500 degrees inside or the doors don't work and you get to offload. Onto a dangerously crowded platform. And try not to get pushed onto the rails.

And sometimes you have to wait ten minutes to make a transfer during rush hour, which inevitably means you arrive just in time to watch your bus drive away. This leads to a level of rage I cannot properly describe in words.

My personal favorite bustedness is when my SmarTrip card gets fucked up, because it always leads to a wonderfully awkward situation: having to piggyback out of the system. Allow me to 'splain.

Where I get on the train at Union Station, it's all kinds of crowded:

People are going through the gates at world-record efficiency, lining up nuts to butts to lay their cards on the reader and dart through the gates. But if my card doesn't read properly, I may unknowingly get through the gate on the card of the person before me (well, it's unknowing until the gate slams shut halfway through, giving me a savage and painful dead-leg). This is called "piggybacking" and is not allowed.

But I'm not about to go wake up the Metro employee to tell them something went wrong with my card. So I just skip on down to the train and start psyching myself out to piggyback again at my destination -- intentionally this time.

Here's the thing though: Van Dorn station isn't nearly as crowded as Union Station. People don't line up nuts to butts. And you really only have like one second of extra time before the gate closes on you ... sooooo ...

I get to be the ONLY creeper trying to hump the person in front of me. But I have to make sure it looks unintentional.

It's quite a feat, and when it's done right, you score yourself a free trip.


The Bad People Want to Rob You

Think you're going to spend your commute listening to music and surfing the web on your iPhone?


Goddamn Tourists

In their matching shirts with their lack of escalator etiquette ... GO BACK TO KANSAS YOU COUSIN-FUCKERS!

After my last Metro ride on Friday, I think I'm going to throw my SmarTrip card in a fire or something. Unless someone has a better idea of how I should destroy it. Something really cathartic and awesome. Low-grade explosives? Ripped apart by hyenas? Chopped into a million small pieces with a very large ax?? Because seriously -- I am never riding that death trap again.

Pride of our nation's capital!

I've got a better idea, anyway.


  1. Ah - the tourist! My least favorite part about metro. Stopping at the top of escalators, not knowing how to work the fare card machines. Go home already! PPV

    1. I just don't understand why they thought it was a good idea to ride the train during rush hour in the first place!!! And then they play broken telephone counting down til their stop ... "Three more stops! Tell everyone three more stops!" ... "Two more stops! Tell everyone two more stops!"

  2. I am cracking up picturing you all up on someone trying to get out of a very uncrowded Van Dorn station.