Photo courtesy of
‘Almost Never is Always Good Enough’
courtesy of ‘Bogotron’

You guys. I just can’t hold it in any longer. I know we’ve talked about this before. But ya’ll, YA’LL, I’m going nuts over here. I just CANNOT TAKE IT and need to issue a PSA.

Dear Metro Rider: Here we are, happily co-existing, two lucky seated people on a morning train. I’m reading my Express and doing my best to drown out the world with my ipod. You’re doing your crossword puzzle. We’re two peas in a pod. As we sail from station to station, we’re fine. You’re cool. I’m not thinking anything of you. Until halfway through the journey from our previous station to our next station, you decide it is time to stand up and move towards the door. The tunnel is still dark. The train is still moving. We’re at least a good solid three minutes from the time we’ll even be gliding into the next station, but now! YOUR TIME IS NOW! Something goes “click” inside your bird brain and you just Cannot Sit There Any Longer. So you ask me to move. Now you’ve done it. Here I have to interrupt my happy Express reading, gather my lunchbox, put away my blackberry, stand up, scoot over, make the six people standing next to our seats move, awkwardly grab the pole to keep balanced because I’m not very good at Metro Surfing, drop my lunchbox, pick it back up, apologize to the five people I’ve bumped into, and then at the most inopportune moment the driver slams on the breaks and we all go flying. Then you’re all up on me, stepping on my toes, rubbing your stranger germs on me, and then the Metro driver accelerates and we all fly forward. IT ALWAYS HAPPENS. And we did this whole dance while in motion, in the DARK TUNNEL, FAR AWAY FROM YOUR STOP, just so you can shuffle awkwardly towards the door and hover for the next two minutes.

IF YOU HAD JUST WAITED TIL WE STOPPED ALL OF THIS DRAMZ COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED. This? THIS IS MY NEW METRO PET PEEVE. I used to hate Pole Hogs (I still kind of do) but I’ve gotten better about them since I learned some defensive knuckling skills and decided that my new signature style is large cocktail rings (aka weapons of back destruction) and have gotten good at using them. But you? You random-stander-upper-er? I HATE YOU. YOU ARE THE WORST.

Katie moved to DC in 2007, and has since embarked upon a love affair with the city. She’s an education reform advocate and communications professional during the day; at night and on the weekends, she’s an owner here at We Love DC. Katie has high goals to eat herself through the entire city, with only her running shoes to save her from herself. For up-to-the-minute news and reviews (among other musings), follow her on Twitter!

18 thoughts on “STAY SEATED TIL YOUR STOP.

  1. Having missed the door before from a ‘slow seat scooter’ I think you are not considering the the reason why a person may stand up and prepare their exit before the train reaches the station. Let’s take a hypothetical example: Train is extremely crowded, people are crowded in front of where the person sits and in front of the door, the next train platform is also extremely crowded. Now in your ideal situation the person waits till the train is stopped, has to 1) fight by you in the outer seat 2)fight by the people standing in front of the seat 3) fight by the people standing in front of the door. By the time we get to #3 people from the platform may already be trying to push into the train further complicated the person’s exit.

    And maybe your should monitor your belongings a bit better so that you do not ‘drop’ your lunch box? I think that your rant is a little out of place and not thought out; completely reactionary. Frankly this is a pitiful post on a Blog that I expect a lot more from.

  2. Maybe if the metro didn’t open the doors for only .000000004 seconds before slamming shut, people wouldn’t have to resort to preemptively getting ready to dive out the door.

  3. I second the rant! If someone (like albinosquirrel) is truly worried about missing their stop, then they can get up at the previous stop WHEN THE TRAIN IS STOPPED and stand by the door for the few minutes while the train goes to the next station. But I say its Metro’s fault (as always) for having seats instead of benches like NYC.

  4. Perhaps (s)he was concerned that if (s)he didn’t get off the train first, (s)he would be swallowed by the rush hour throng and would be doomed to stay in the train station forever until some good samaritan picked him or her up. Kind of like Paddington, but less fuzzy (probably) and more smelly (likely).

  5. Aaron is correct. This is especially so at busy stops like Metro Center. It is especially especially so now that the drivers are trying to make up time by making their stops as short as possible.

    Jeff–sit in a seat in the middle of a train some time when everyone is boarding and pushing to the middle of the car, and try to stand up, much less move toward your door. -That- will get you some dirty looks.

    Look, Metro just sucks. It sucks. It’s dark, it’s loud, it’s crowded (especially the Orange Crush), people stink, people stare. Everything about it sucks except for the price. The trains aren’t well laid-out, especially the new ones that lack a central ceiling handrail. You are going to get jostled, and sometimes you are going to get jostled really hard. The alternative is driving and paying $240 a month to park, or biking and getting groped/killed by passing cars.

  6. I’m with albinosquirrel on this one. After living here for 23 years I fully understand the need to get up before the train stops. I learned when I was a kid that you can get caught on the other side of that door if you don’t get up soon enough and push through the over crowded trains.

  7. I have to agree with albinosquirrel and Aaron. The doors don’t remain open long enough to accommodate your perfect scenario during rush hour. Just by reading your description of how long it takes you to get up and all the steps you have to take I can’t blame the person trapped next to you to anticipate this situation and to want to get up. It can also get more chaotic at the door when you have people getting in while there are people taking longer to get out. I don’t think that getting up at the previous station would do much good either since there are so many people trying to get in and out at that moment… it would get more congested. Although I agree that the metro has many problems I wouldn’t say that it sucks. I can’t imagine my life here in DC without the metro, yes you have to deal with the crowds but just get over it.
    How about not using the word “hate” so much on the “welovedc” blog… I also expect more, save your rants.

  8. I don’t buy anon’s claim. If I have a stop coming up I stand at the previous stop, or earlier. I’ve never seen a dirty look from anyone, particularly when I’m vacating a seat they can take.

    Moving towards the door, against the tide? Maybe that would get you glared at, though our riders are so shitty about moving towards the center of the train that sometimes it’s hard to imagine it could be a problem.

  9. Oh, Albino and Amatri! I never promised to love everything about DC, now did I? (see: about our blog – sometimes DC dates the wrong person. Now, as DC’s best friend, I have every right to speak up.) Plus, you commented, so… yay! We all win here. You read something that you found interesting enough to comment on (read: hate on me about, it’s cool, i can take it) and I get commenters! Brillz. Plus, I’m only a hater about a few things, check my author archives, you’ll see I’m a loving person 98% of the time.

    Now, on to the content. I’ve been known to exaggerate (like, maybe once in my life, or something.) and so all of those things I described don’t generally happen at once. And I can also see commenter’s points that in a crowded train it’s hard to squish to the doors. Yes, I see that. But with that said, I actually have never been shut into a train, but I’m aware that it’s a problem most riders have dealt with. BUT, I still don’t think that you need to be getting up mid-ride to get to the doors, and here we’ll have to learn to agree to disagree. I just don’t think it’s necessary. No one is ready for you to disembark so not only are you disrupting me, you’re disrupting the people standing around our seat, who also have to move and shuffle. I know you know how valuable the hand-on-pole real estate is, and it’s hard to get it back once you’ve lost it.

    This morning, for instance, it happened on an almost-empty train. There were empty seats all around us and THREE people standing (count them, three) and mid-ride, the woman decided she needed to get up. I don’t even have my lunch today! Just me! My purse comes along for the ride, too. Now, can’t you see how that’s just disruptive? I’m happy to pop right up quickly, I don’t even have anything on my lap or in your way on your warpath to the door. Can you see how that’s a tid bit annoying? Level with me here?

    Also, if i may – here’s one solution I’m ALWAYS happy with – if you know you’re getting off soon (ie: next two stops) switch seats with me, I’m totally content to get in the inside.

  10. I don’t know why some people like to stand up so early. It’s called Queuing and it’s also been a problem for VRE. As it has been said, metro operators will sometimes close the doors quickly to stay on the schedule. I think sometimes they close them to soon, even before some people have a chance to board.

  11. Katie, you deal. It’s the way it is, people aren’t going to change. It’s a structure as built in as stand right, walk left. If you hate moving then hope and pray you always get the inside seat. Otherwise you’re just going to have to deal.

  12. You know, when I notice that I’m sitting next to a person who has a lot of crap to gather up, I frequently stand up early so I don’t miss my stop while they’re gathering it…

  13. What bothers me the most is when it’s rush hour, the train is packed with people and someone decides to move toward the door in between stops. There’s a guy who’s practically crushed up against the door because he just had to squeeze into the car before the doors closed (which had to close 2-3 times because he was obstructing it). There’s no where that he or anyone who is awkwardly pinned in around him have to go until the doors open. Saying ‘excuse me’ will not magically create more room for that early exiter. And if you are going to get up mid-ride on a crowded train, don’t rely on the people around you to cushion you if the train driver hits the breaks. Thanks.

  14. There are several valid opinions on here…but I have to agree with Katie’s post overall. It is always a disaster when someone decides they just have to get up in the middle of the ride. Just don’t do it people! A subtle hint or polite remark to the person next to you to let them know that you will be getting up at the next station is awesome – but there is no need to make everyone do the Metro dance while the train is screaming down a tunnel.

    Anyway, this is a problem that only special people get to experience. I feel like I haven’t sat down on a Metro car in months.

  15. I’ve seen people do this when the train is only half full during non-rush hours. And every single time they nearly fall because of the exceptional joystick skills of our train operators. If your worried about not getting off in time, then stay standing.

    PS: Noboby puts Katie in the courner.

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