Metro has its eye on the hole and not the doughnut, as usual. Witness this damning bit of evidence, provided by Robin Berenbaum of Bethesda.

Robin was boarding the T-2 Metro bus at Dupont Circle the other afternoon to go home. The bus happened to be equipped with the latest word in fareboxes: a computerized model that accepts bills through a slot in its side, rather than through the more familiar trough at the top.

This new-fangled farebox works a lot like the Farecard machine in the subway. Unfortunately, it also works approximately as well.

So it went this day. Some guy's $1 bill got all gnarled up in the slot, and the whole farebox quit working as a result.

Did Metro send a replacement bus? Did Metro instruct the driver to collect the fares by hand? Did Metro let Robin and her merry band of T-2ers ride free?

No, no and no.

Metro took the whole bus out of service.

As a result, Robin and friends had to wait for more than half an hour until the next T-2 showed up. That or spring for $10 in cabfare.

A couple of years from now, some Metro clerk will probably be surprised when he notices that ridership figures for the T-2 took a small but permanent drop starting late in 1982.

He shouldn't be.