Talkin’ Transit: Metro Says “You Drive It”

Photo courtesy of
‘Concourse Teddy’, courtesy of ‘philliefan99’ Teddy driving your train? Maybe!

Word out of the WMATA office? Put your skills where you mouth is.

Starting April 31, regular commuters can become a Metro operator for a day. Selected daily from unregistered SmarTrip card users, a random rider will be selected and invited to drive their Metrobus or conduct their Metro train! After a quick training course, the winners will be ushered into the driver’s seat for a commuting experience they won’t forget!

Ever dreamed of piloting the Yellow Line train across the Potomac, pulling into L’Enfant with a full load of sleepy, cranky morning passengers? Or helming a prestigious Red Line train during rush hour, making sure commuters board the train respectfully and without pushing and shoving? What about steering a big Metrobus down Pennsylvania Avenue, stopping at every red light and heading up a five-bus convoy as you pack in the riders?

Now’s your chance.

Photo courtesy of
‘comfy’, courtesy of ‘philliefan99’ He may be your next bus driver…

Winners can enjoy other Metro benefits, such as punching out mascots, running their own prostitution ring, or arresting little girls for eating fries on the train. They can also use station restrooms and turn on and off escalators at whim, claiming they’re in need of repair and laughing at commuters having to use the stairs.

And for those residents worried that tourists might win the right instead? “No worries,” says WMATA’s PR guru Liza Steinfarb. “We won’t let tourists who can’t stand right and walk left or clog vehicle doors run our delicate system. We know our area residents are more sophisticated than that.”

WMATA announced the contest as a way to bridge their chronic budget gap; the displaced operators will be ones with low performance records (or those who’ve recently punched costumed people) and placed on non-paid leave for the day. By having one operator off every day through the rest of the year, Metro will save nearly $200M in salary costs.

Virginia legislators wholeheartedly approved the plan and canceled another emergency transportation session in Richmond. “Since Metro’s making up their shortfall, we as a state don’t need to fund NOVA residents’ frivolous use of public transit,” commented one State Representative, who wished to remain anonymous.

“It’s a brilliant idea from our marketing arm,” commented Choo-Choo Catoe, WMATA’s Chief Coinspender. “Maybe next year we’ll offer private train cars for mobile parties and special party buses for runs up to Charm City. Such funds would give us the leeway to finally keep all the Foggy Bottom escalators on during rush hour.” It just goes to show that innovative ideas continue to thrive at problem-free WMATA.

So fess up, readers! What trains / buses are you looking forward to helming, or is there a special perk you’re looking to enjoy? Share in comments!

Having lived in the DC area for ten years, Ben still loves to wander the city with his wife, shooting lots of photos and exploring all the latest exhibits and galleries. A certified hockey fanatic, he spends some time debating the Washington Capitals club with friends – but everyone knows of his three decade love affair with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A professional writer, gamer, photographer, and Lego enthusiast, Ben remains captivated by DC and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.

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8 thoughts on “Talkin’ Transit: Metro Says “You Drive It”

  1. That was the cruelest prank in the history of the world. I was so pumped to announce to the tourists at Capitol South to spread out and “use all doors.” Mean, wldc, very mean.

  2. You know? Since I read this pre-coffee, I actually believed it for a few minutes.

    What does it say that the part that finally caused even my poor caffiene-starved brain to take notice was the bit about the Foggy Bottom escalators? “Waaaaait… thats bull, those will never run.”?

  3. Can we chose to be station managers instead? I have some really great ideas on how to use Metro resources to run my very own prostitution ring