In response to recent threats to the system, WMATA has decided that the negative press that the TSA is getting is the sort of thing that they would like to have also, and today announced enhanced searching of individuals, including bag searches at random stations. One small problem with Metro’s plan is that they will not be searching at every station, and I can’t quite figure out what would stop someone from seeing police presence at, say, Farragut West, and instead walking just two blocks to Farragut North. Terrorists aren’t going to be deterred by searches, and a bomb going off at any station would do the sort of damage that would be irreparable to ridership and public confidence in the embattled transit agency.
So, if you were looking for yet another reason to decide that Metro is an agency adrift, without leadership or positive policy, then you just got it. Searches start in the next few days. The searches are supposed to take “minutes,” but when you consider it took them 90 minutes to figure out that a christmas ornament with LEDs was harmless, I’ve got to think that the average search of my bag will last approximately six days.
UPDATE: Metro has released a YouTube video to sell this to you, showing that the process should take no more than 60 seconds. You know, as long as no one else is in the process of being scanned, and never mind that 60 seconds is more than enough time to miss your train.