Smoky Trains and Erratic Buses: A WMATA Morning Commute Story


Orange and Blue Line riders heading for work this morning probably had a heck of a time thanks to the smoke incident at McPherson Square, caused by a collector shoe (which conducts electricity from the third rail to power the train) falling off, sparking a fire under the train. (Thanks to The Post’s Get There blog for the info.)

My wife was on Metro at the time, and had a heck of a trip with all WMATA had to offer, with trains AND buses providing much in the way of epic, continuous fail all through the journey. After the jump, a bulleted list of stuff she ran into along the way:

  1. Red Line trains running so far apart that she couldn’t get on the first train as it was already brimming with the crowd of waiting rush hour riders.
  2. Next train had two guys standing right in the doorway where she was boarding, and they wouldn’t move for anything, so people had to enter one at a time.
  3. At Metro Center the station and train started filling up with burnt-rubber-smelling smoke billowing down the tunnel from McPherson Square, so she headed to Farragut North to avoid the delay and catch a 38B bus instead.
  4. The 38B going to Ballston appears to have been rerouted so it doesn’t pick up on K Street anymore — but the bus stop map and sign still say it’s a 38B stop.
  5. A bus driver directed her further down K Street to the next bus stop — which turned out to be wrong.
  6. So she got on a Circulator instead, figuring that the routes would converge closer to Georgetown — which they did.
  7. So she got on a 38B to Ballston — but the sign on the front of the bus said “Farragut Square.” Turns out the driver had no way of changing the sign and was pretty annoyed that her bus computer said “Ballston” but the sign continued to say “Farragut Square.”
  8. Turns out the 38B bus to Ballston now runs along I Street.

Me? I was heading for the dentist a bit later, caught wind of the whole bloody mess through a call from my wife and UnsuckDCMetro’s Twitter stream, and got on a taxi instead. It cost about ten dollars more to get where I was going but hey, look, totes worth it to get to the dentist’s drill even faster!

Roving Asian mendicant, can occasionally be seen wandering the streets of downtown Washington, muttering unintelligible gibberish to passers-by while pushing a “bag lady” shopping cart full of old blankets, American flags, soda cans, and healthy secondhand snacks from organic food shop dumpsters. Used to live in a cardboard box at 16th and K but the rent was too expensive.

One thought on “Smoky Trains and Erratic Buses: A WMATA Morning Commute Story

  1. Those assholes who block the doors-I PUSH them out of the way and yell at them. By the way, I’m 5′O” and weigh about 110 lbs. Dont’ let the assholes win.