thoughts from a Metro “customer”
30 June, 2006
1) Who decides the direction of the middle escalator? Is there a schedule? Is it by station manager’s discretion? How is it changed?
2) The trains…they talk to you. On the days when we have remembered our medication, they merely say stuff like “please stand back to allow customers to exit.” Just this week, I started wondering: how come we are “customers”? Not “riders”? Or “travelers”? It seems somewhat…mercenary of them. Like paying parking tickets to a city’s “Department of Revenue.” I mean, there’s something to be said for calling a spade a spade, but one would think appearances would count for something, and that WMATA would pretend to see us as a bit more than walking dollar bills.
3) The “walk left, stand right” DC Metrorail escalator culture is well known, but there is another such formality that many here observe: greeting and bidding farewell to Metrobus drivers. I love that we do this. Love it. In the utilitarian sense it makes the universe a kinder place by being a small amount of goodover a very large number of people. The alternative, which I know well from other cities, is to pretend the bus drives itself, and only acknowledge the driver when necessary.
What I love about these DC transit memes is that since so many people visit here, and even live here for a time, they really could spread across the nation as these people go back home and implement this new behavior. She said, with hope.
I send you off with a photo of another Metro mystery I came across one night.