Metro Meetup

October 21, 2011

Totally plausible scenario: You’re late to work because of a broken escalator, and you post about the ordeal on Facebook. Instead of sympathy, you get snotty responses from “friends” who don’t live around here: “You crybaby. It’s a flight of stairs. Deal with it.” So you shoot back: “Listen, fool. I’m talking about the DUPONT escalator. … Oh, never mind — you wouldn’t understand.”

But if you’d shared your comment with pals on DC Metro Connection (Dcmetroconnection.com), they would understand. The new social media site is the brainchild of 26-year-old Joshua Ihezie, a Bowie, Md., resident who’s convinced that his fellow passengers need a place to gather online and share ideas. “All other social networks are too big,” he explains. “This is specifically for people in the DMV.” (And even more specifically, for people in the DMV — D.C., Maryland and Virginia — who don’t need to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles.)

After you sign up, you create a profile with basic info about yourself, including the color of your regular Metro line. That’s the part that’s sort of like LinkedIn. From your “dashboard,” you can contribute a quick post to “Transit Talk,” which is the part that’s sort of like Twitter. As a member, you can join (or start) a group. For now, the list includes parents, students, singles and the ART 45 Bus. That’s the part that’s like Meetup. You can also create event pages to tell people about Metro-accessible concerts, happy hours and other stuff, which is the part that’s like … I’m not sure.

Anyway, none of this can really work until more members join. So Ihezie has spent the past few weeks populating the site with loads of his comments to show folks the possibilities. He envisions people who have similar commutes forming groups to carpool to Metro sations and being able to check Transit Talk for news of delays, accidents or odd sights at stations across the system. “You can know what’s happening on the different lines,” he says.

Beyond the informational possibilities, Ihezie also hopes DC Metro Connection can make the ride more fun. “You can see some people are lonely. They can meet people to talk to,” he says, suggesting it could facilitate real-world networking. “Instead of getting someone’s number, you can say, ‘Are you on DC Metro Connection? Join my group.’”

On the face of it, it’s not a bad idea. Especially if you want to gripe about busted escalators together.

Vicky Hallett is a MisFits columnist and the Fit editor for Express.
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Jennifer Barger | October 21, 2011