The Breaking News Blog

All the latest news from the District, Maryland and Virginia

Metro Riders Want Better Information During Emergencies

Electronic signs convey some information to riders at Metro Center the morning after the crash. But commuters want Metro to do better.
Electronic signs convey some information to riders at Metro Center the morning after the crash. But commuters want Metro to do better. (By Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)   |   Buy Photo

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Sunday, June 28, 2009

We're probably not going to build many more new highways or transit lines across the Washington region, so what else can we try to make sure people can get where they're going? Part of the answer is getting accurate, timely information to travelers about the problems ahead and the options for getting around them. That's true for highway congestion, and it's true for transit breakdowns. Last week, scores of Metro riders told us that they weren't getting the information they needed about Monday's Red Line crash and about what options were left to them.

Why It's Important

It's easy to see why timely information about accidents and road closures is important to drivers. Veteran commuters, who know their routes, can decide from experience how serious a delay they've encountered and whether it's worthwhile to bail out onto other roads. But train riders also can respond to accurate and timely information:

-- If they receive alerts about a serious delay before they leave home or the office, they can decide to take a bus, drive, carpool, bike or walk.

-- If they see a sign at a rail station entrance, they can decide whether to go through the fare gates or seek alternative transportation at street level.

-- If they read an electronic message or hear an announcement on the platform or on a train, they can decide whether to open up a book, or get off the train before their regular stop and transfer to another train or bus, or walk the rest of the way. They might also call someone who could pick them up at a station ahead of their normal schedule.

Metro Recognized Problem

These were some of the steps the transit authority took over the past year:

-- Metro officials pledged to share more information in emergencies.


CONTINUED     1           >

© 2009 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity