Monday, June 9, 2008

Metrotacular

Today's Washington Post printed a first-person essay about the hassles of carrying large
materials on the Metro. From Aboard Metro, With 2-by-6s in Tow (requires log-in):

I'm the guy you saw on the Red Line casually cradling a 5-by-3-foot double-hung window in his lap. Holding the four 4-by-4-foot drywall panels. The screen door. The six-foot section of picket fence. The 3-by-6-foot lattice panel. The yellow, fiberglass six-foot stepladder. The man with the lawn mower and 75-foot garden hose? Uh-huh, me again. ...
Yes, I was on the Ride On bus clutching the massive, lacquer-framed vintage poster. (It's a straight shot from my framer in Rockville.)
Don't worry; you won't see me during the morning or evening rush. You'll find me in the last car of the train near the bicyclist. (Are you surprised?) I get on the bus at the end of the line and sit in the back. Granted, I take up room for two or three. But what's it to you? I'm not in harm's way.
I avoid transit officials, especially supervisors. They're worrywarts. Bus drivers and Metro station attendants are generally sympathetic. They can identify with a struggling homeowner. If they see I can manage without hurting anyone or damaging property, they'll let me ride.


I want to high five Anthony E. Harris so badly. Good for him! It's a pain to bring bulky materials on transit (and as he details, a bigger pain to carry). Anthony E. Harris gets me. He understands four years of carting heavy photography supplies to campus (and back). I wonder: has he ever taken his station at the back of the car to have someone sit on his belongings? (Because I have! Story to come in a few weeks.)

In regards to last night's post, Washington Post columnist Dr. Gridlock blogs that Metro was unaware that it was offering free rides and that some riders were paying for their free rides. Concerned readers contacted Dr. Metro and an online discussion was hosted at 1 p.m. Metro responded to Dr. Gridlock:

Metro spokesman Steven Taubenkibel said in an e-mail that the transit
authority was not notified until 7:28 a.m. that it was a Code Red day. "As a
result, we were charging fares on all buses in MD and VA. Once we got the word,
we started calling all of our bus operators and telling them not to accept
fares."

Also, I may have made a mistake: the District is not participating in the free rides.

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