Metro and the Stewart-Colbert rallies

Tuesday, November 2, 2010; 2:50 PM

Regarding the Oct. 31 front-page article "Sanity and fear, meeting in the middle":

When I arrived with out-of-town friends at the Takoma Metro station on Saturday around noon, the crowd on the platform was the largest I have seen in my 13 years here. All incoming trains were packed like sardines, so we caught an outbound train to Glenmont, then got onto a train to downtown where we passed stop after stop packed with would-be passengers. Later in the day, Metro added insult to injury for returning Red Line passengers when its scheduled maintenance added further delays by single tracking a stretch between two stations.

In an Oct. 28 news release on its Web site, Metro wrote, "On Saturday, October 30 and Sunday, October 31, all Red Line trains will depart approximately every 15 minutes from the Shady Grove and Glenmont Metrorail stations." Was an iota of thought given to preparing for the well-publicized Stewart-Colbert rally? To tens of thousands of attendees, the memory of the rally will be one of exuberance and joy, and the memory of Metro will be one of stunning ineptitude and agony.

Harvey Solomon, Takoma Park

l

Metro's unpreparedness for Saturday's rally inspired insanity in many of us who attempted to reach the Mall by subway. In Clarendon, every train was packed. Reversing and traveling to Vienna was the only way to get downtown. Why wasn't Metro better able to handle the crowds? Surely six-car trains every 13 minutes were not enough. If Metro had taken a poll online and asked residents how many were planning on going to the rally, it would have known better how to plan.

I have always been a fan of Metro. Saturday ruined that.

Greer B. Gilka, Arlington


© 2010 The Washington Post Company