What options did Metro have during snowstorm?

By Robert Thomson
Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I was one of the Metro passengers stranded Dec. 19 by the agency's sudden decision to stop all service. I left Silver Spring via Metro around 10 in the morning and attempted to return via Metrorail around 2 p.m. when I discovered that aboveground rail service was stopped.

To my astonishment, Metro's Web site also said that there would be no bus service. There were simply no other options.

It seems to me that Metro officials must have known on Friday that there was a 50-50 chance that they would cut all service and make no other options available at some point during the storm. They lured people like me out in the morning, confident that the system was working or at least that contingency plans were available, and then abandoned us. I've never seen it handled this way in Chicago, where I'm from.

-- Carlean Ponder, Silver Spring

Metro's old snowstorm policy: If we take you there, we'll take you home.

Metro's new storm policy: Save the train system.

It sounds harsh, especially in light of our letter writer's plight, but it's not simply an issue of people vs. machines.

What I call the new policy dates to 2003, but this was the first storm since then that was huge enough to test the plan.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2009 The Washington Post Company