Take your Time on the Metro

Why is it that I am standing here on the Columbia Heights Metro platform? I wandered onto the platform over 10 minutes ago and I am still here. Waiting. Agh, see this is the number one thing wrong with the Metro system and why I hate taking Metro anywhere: the wait between trains.

I don’t mind the bus wait, when there is one, because at least I am outside in the fresh air and can enjoy the sights and sounds of DC while I wait. Also I am free to walk away from the bus stop, many times I do, and sometimes I even beat the bus to where I am going. This I do not mind.

What I do mind are the 15 minute waits between trains in the Metro anytime outside of rush hour, and even 6 minute waits in rush hour. God forbid you have to transfer too, for that means at least 30 minutes added onto your trip time.

It doesn’t have to be this way. In the Moscow Metropolitan, my favorite subway system worldwide, the trains come in at 1-2minute intervals. In fact, there is a clock above each train tunnel exit that starts counting when a train enters the tunnel. If it makes it to 90 seconds before the next train stops at the station, people start to grumble. A two minutes there is a noticeable anger, and by three minutes (3!) there will be a riot. If only the Metro in DC could be so efficient.

3 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 9:14 am

    I loved the Budapest subway, it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever ridden underground, fast trains, beautiful stations and it went everywhere.

  2. wayan (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 10:28 am

    The Budapest, as well as the Prague, East Berlin & most other Eastern European metro systems are direct copies, or close approximations of the original – the Moscow Metropolitan.

  3. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on July 27th, 2005 @ 10:53 am

    Say what you want about their economic systems, they made damn fine subways.

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