Congress Is Fed Up with WMATA!

Watch as Congress gives WMATA all shade no tea!
(the good stuff starts 36 minutes into the video)

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WMATA’s Budget Problems…

… clearly do not extend to the “swag” department.

Side note… when your transit agency is plagued with rail cars and stations that are so hot they’re often the scene of heat-related medical emergencies perhaps sweatbands and paper fans aren’t the most tactful use of your budget.

Just Another Manic Monday

Weekend: Ruined

Fallen Blossoms

WMATA Daily Service Report Recap – 2015 Q1

Who doesn’t like numbers?


WMATA Daily Service Report Recap 2015 Q1 (PDF)

Source Data (XLSX)

News Dump

The WMATA-related news keeps coming hot and heavy. Here’s a round up of today’s articles:

Washington Post: Starving Metro to save it

Washington Post: Maryland, D.C. officials seek Metro management overhaul

Gazette: Transit center on schedule for spring release, official says

Red State: It’s time for #WMATA reform.

March 29, 2015 at 02:39PM

RT @TheBarnesology: Houston Metro social media guru’s.

March 26, 2015 at 12:48PM

And the the CTA “PIDS” equivalent

March 26, 2015 at 12:47PM

Taking CTA to O’hare – their fare gates…

March 23, 2015 at 11:34AM

RT @TheBarnesology: I’m on a CTA train watching a CTA rail car go down the freeway. #meta

March 23, 2015 at 11:12AM

RT @TheBarnesology: A big transit “oops” happened here.

March 19, 2015 at 04:09PM

While sitting at L’Enfant station just a few hundred feet where Carol Glover died. #WMATA #noservice #tmobile

March 18, 2015 at 04:42PM

Red Line to Shady Grove! #WMATA

March 18, 2015 at 04:18PM

Does this come from sucking in tunnel smoke? Have seen it a lot lately. #wmata

March 18, 2015 at 04:15PM

Reminder #wmata

National Press Club to Host WMATA Roundtable

March 13, 2015

For More Information
Pat Host: 202-905-4657 or
National Press Club: 202-662-7500


WASHINGTON, March 13, 2015—Major stakeholders of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA, or Metro) will discuss the future of the system in a panel discussion at the National Press Club in downtown Washington on Monday, March 23, from 10-11:30 a.m. EST.

The United States’ second busiest system by daily passengers is at a critical point in its history as it faces growing safety concerns and fares, declining ridership and a budget squeeze. In an on-the-record, moderated Q&A format, stakeholders will discuss operational, budgetary, governance and management issues.

Participants are:

Pat Host, moderator, National Press Club member and reporter for Defense Daily and Rotor & Wing.

Tom Bulger
WMATA Board Member, Alternate Director for the District of Columbia; board member since July 2011.

Jackie Jeter
President of WMATA union Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689.

David Alpert
Editor and Founder of transit news source Greater Greater Washington, available at

Graham Jenkins
WMATA rider, District resident, and mass transit enthusiast blogging at

The event will start promptly at 10 am EST and will take place in the Zenger Room, located adjacent to the Fourth Estate Restaurant. The National Press Club is located at 529 14th St. NW (at F St.), on the 13th floor, and is accessible from Metrorail via McPherson Square (OR/BL/SV) and Metro Center (OR/BL/SV/RD) and multiple bus routes including the 52, 54 and 30s line.

For more information, call the National Press Club at 202-662-7500.

Safety Culture Qualifications

What if I told you there is someone who lists “notify and dispatch emergency personnel and other supporting services to incident locations” as part of their job description at WMATA? You would assume such a person exists, right?

Now, what would you assume the qualifications such a person would possess before being put in charge of insuring emergency services reach paying riders in trouble? A background in public safety? A background in transit operations?

How about just a background in PR?

It’s amazing the things you can find on LinkedIn. I won’t name names here to protect the individual I’m writing about but here’s the broad strokes:

This person’s title is Communications Specialist. This person lists the following as their job description in that position at WMATA:

Develop and implement customer-facing communication and messaging strategies through station announcements, digital communication, social media outlets and the Service Disruption Hotline

Track, monitor and post rail incidents; provide status updates and post impact to service on the Authority’s website

Identify and initiate necessary actions for the Rail Operations Control center; notify and dispatch emergency personnel and other supporting services to incident locations

Monitor emergency telephone console and create documentation for internal notifications during major service disruptions

Maintain operational records and complete and distribute required daily reports; ensure support consistency and prepare and present documentation for all electronic messages

Now, most of this does sound very “PR” but 2 of these things imply this person is responsible for emergency action in the event of an incident.

Here are the prior qualifications (from most recent position to most past position) that qualified this person to be in a position of responsibility when people’s lives are in the balance:

Sales Representative
PR/Marketing Intern
On Air Personality/Producer
Sales/Marketing Associate
Car Rental Manager Trainee

It should also be noted there are, according to LinkedIn, at least 3 other people with this exact same title working at WMATA. In addition to Dan Stessel and Brian Anderson – the more public figures in the public-facing side of WMATA’s PR team, there are these 4 individuals and who knows how many others who all claim to be in a position of responsibility for WMATA’s “social media” communications. Wouldn’t you think with that many hands on deck we’d have coverage during all operating hours? Wouldn’t you think they’d be able to keep the @MetroForward account alive?

Who’s making the calls over there and why are seemingly unqualified people being put in a position of public safety and at the same time not doing the job they’re apparently qualified for on the social media side?


Don’t you DARE ask for help from a WMATA station manager! They’ll have none of your needyness!

Eddie needed a shuttle at Silver Spring because an elevator was out of service. The following is what happened:

WMATA Weekends: A failure to communicate

The communications with riders on weekends during “rebuilding” (“rebuilding” is a fancy word for “stealing money from tax payers and riders under the guise of fixing a rail system that never seems to get fixed”) is terrible.

First of all the PIDS don’t work…

The in-station audio announcements are borked…

Trains are mislabeled…

Then there’s the unmanned @metrorrailinfo account that SUCKS on weekends compared to SEPTA…

Annnnnd then there was this mess…
(Saturday morning)

(Saturday night)

Fantastic! They finished work early! Sunday morning we got a confirmation of this:

THEN… just 4 minutes later…