Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Metro Mishap Mayhem - A Commuter's Point of View

Dear Metro,

You have destroyed all confidence of your riders that your system is safe, and that your staff are properly trained for emergencies. Of course, I've always questioned if we'll even be able to hear staff instructions in an emergency, since you normally can't even understand the train operator when they tell you which station you're arriving at.

When it takes 40 minutes for help to arrive, when a train is only several hundred feet away from a station, you've got a serious problem.

Add to this the fact that a person died due to the train operator instructing people to remain in a smoke filled train, when they could have easily evacuated the train and walked back to the station, now you're simply negligent and incompetent.

Let me explain to you the repercussions of this serious problem.

Now that riders have lost all faith in Metro staff to properly handle an emergency, we are not going to pay any attention to what your staff tell us to do in an emergency. Instead, we are going to look out only for ourselves, and find the quickest way out of a train or Metro station.

This really becomes problematic, because the next time there's an emergency, it might actually be critical for passengers to shelter in place, instead of attempt to escape. However, you have now destroyed any chance of that happening.

As a regular rider of Metro, I am quite angry. Metro is supposed to be safe. Metro employees are supposed to be properly trained to deal with emergencies. The response to this incident is inexcusable.

I refuse to be the next statistic in Metro's long line of avoidable accidents.

Ken Buckler is the editor of WashCo Chronicle. He regularly commutes to DC through MARC and Metro rail lines.