A Metrobus Emergency Alert

How should a WMATA Metrobus driver alert police, in a subtle way, to say an altercation on his bus? A phone call would be too obvious. A little red “alert” button? Not yet installed.

A casual “Emergency – Call Police” on the route sign? Perfect!

This was the scene at 15th Street and Irving Streets NW a few days ago. A DC MPD police car sped to the scene and boarded the bus lickety-quick.

Response apparently all for naught as folks exited and boarded the bus casually and once the police talked with the driver and walked the bus’s length, the police officer left.

The bus, still flashing “Emergency – Call Police” drove on.

2 Comments so far

  1. wayan (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 9:38 am

    Sources down at WMATA say that, I was right, this is how bus operators call for help without letting the person causing the problem know they’re calling for help. So if you see this sign on a bus near you, do the right thing, call 911

  2. Don (unregistered) on August 9th, 2006 @ 2:39 pm

    Most local taxis also have a (confusing) lighted sign on their top that the driver can turn on, supposedly to covertly request anyone seeing it call 911 to help them. Unfortunately it’s a lot less obvious than the bus sign and hard to tell if it’s lit or unlit.

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