Friday, January 29, 2010

48 minutes

The morning commute was longer than usual today, but there were two trains at SG to get on, so I knew I wouldn't have to wait long. Have you noticed more and more of the SmarTrip card readers aren't working at the turnstiles? There was a wait to get through at SG because a bus had just let off people. Maybe that is why Metro is removing the stickers.

Now the funny part of the commute:

At Rockville or Twinbrook, I heard a conversation between two people facing each other and across the aisle. If I hadn't heard the substance of the conversation, I would have thought they were flirting, because they did act like they knew each other, but it was quite the opposite! He must have apolgized to her for something, and she said "No, I called you d*ck, did you hear me?? You bumped into me with your bag and I poked myself." (She was apparently putting on eye makeup.) His very polite response was "Oh, sorry, I didn't know." She was clearly irritated as she turned on her music and closed her eyes for the rest of the commute, and then...

He moved over to sit next to her! Then he started poking her to tell her something! She tried to understand him twice and then she took out one of her earphones to give him a why-are-you-trying-to-talk-to-me "huh?"

I wanted to continue watching this, but it quickly became too crowded to see what was going on, and the next time I could see those seats they had already left. Well, good luck to them both, and I hope they had a nice day!

Red Rider Rating: 9.5 based on the entertainment value

43 Minutes

Cold morning commute. The train did not come at SG for 7 minutes and filled up completely with standing room at SG (found last seat on train). Conductor was friendly with a few pleasant remarks thrown in for good measure which made my fellow travelers smile without seeming to annoy anyone. This was definitely a welcome break from the standard conductor. The train became packed by White Flint with considerable crowding occurring because a train had clearly not come for some time. By Bethesda, the platform was at least three deep with people rushing to get to work. The friendly conductor began to get a bit more impatient, but overall kept his composer (as did the riders). When we arrived at DCircle, commuters crowded the doors and the train had to be off-loaded. Understandably, there were some very angry passengers. The lower escalator at DCirle remained inoperative which caused major problems moving the crush of people getting off. All South Exit escalators were operational.

Sir Ride-A-Lot Rating: 5.2 (would have been far lower if I had to travel beyond DCircle after the off-loaded train).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

We knew it was coming

A temporary fare hike of 10 cents for Metrorail.

Metro - About Metro - News - Metro Board approves 10-cent fare increase to close FY2010 budget gap

Red Rider Rating: 3

37 minutes on an 8-car train

Good morning - and it was a good one! I caught an 8-car train out of SG this morning, which is quite luxurious these days when 6-car trains seem to be the norm. There was not a long wait at SG and there was minimal holding throughout the trip to Dupont Circle. The only difficulty was the PA system, which seared into your ear every time it was turned on -- ouch! To the conductor's credit, she kept her announcements short.

Red Rider Rating: 8.5

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

28 sporks later...

No, it was just one spork, albeit a used one, among the Express newspapers strewn on the floor of the Metro car. It was however a 28-minute ride from Tenleytown to Shady Grove this evening, which is a long time for that amount of distance. Otherwise it was a pleasant ride and a good conductor.

Red Rider Rating: 7 (would be higher if it had been a clean car)

I am also happy to see that the blockade was removed after a week from the alternate exit in the lot behind the small garage at Shady Grove. They've been working on those gates for a while, hopefully they will no longer get stuck in the up position!

35 Minutes

Good morning fellow Red Line Riders:

Welcome to the newest and friendliest Red Line blog in the entire DC Metro area! The goal of your host - Sir Ride-A-Lot - and hostess - The Red Rider - is to pass along each of our experiences during our daily commutes by keeping a running tally of exactly what happened that morning (or evening) on the Red Line. Our promise to you, our fellow travelers, is to never be negative, never get petty, and only report the facts. We are your humble servants. Feel free to comment, add your thoughts, and tell us what you feel, but please keep all comments factually accurate...and please no rants.

Every day each of our posts will place the time taken for the morning commute (from gate at Shady Grove to gate at Dupont Circle) at the top and close with a trip rating. Once we have been blogging for some time, it will be helpful to compare times and ratings and see how the commutes stack up morning after morning, day after day. So, without further introduction, here goes my maiden post. Enjoy and happy travels.

Arrived at SG at 7:15. Platform was unusually crowded. Clearly, no train had come for several minutes. One train came which was out of service forcing riders waiting on the East platform to cross over to the West platform causing significant confusion. When the train did arrive it was fully loaded with standing room only before it left SG. Riders, however, were pleasant and uncomplaining. The train proceeded with no delays. Only problem en route was the lack of PA system which, along with crowded conditions, prevented passengers from determining the station stop. At DCircle platform level escalator was still inoperative. However, all escalators on South Exit fully operational.

Sir Ride-A-Lot Rating: 7.5