you can’t please ’em

Ah Metro, Metro, Metro… nice try, I’ll grant you that. It was a good effort putting cameras in the regular rail cars and having employees monitor passenger habits for months to see how to improve upon the rail car design. And I for one really appreciate the new rail cars designed to give more space in the aisle when there are no seats available and keep people from crowding around the doors making it impossible for people to either exit or board the train. Even though I know they’re not, the new cars seem bigger and how bad is that?

But most of all I appreciate the riders of metro who, on the new cars, still insist on clumping up around the doors regardless of all the floor space available in the aisle. I must admit, the task of boarding the train this morning was a bit daunting, but once I broke through the wall of unmoving people, I realized that they were just grumpy because clearly the entire aisle was reserved for just me! At first I thought maybe there were wet spots on the floor, or gunk on the poles, but nope. There were about 15 people gathered into a seething, raging mass at the exits, every seat along the aisle was taken, but there was plenty of space for me to stand wherever I liked and I didn’t have to fight with anyone else to grab a pole to steady myself. At some stations, people gave up their seats and left, but I didn’t want to restrict myself to a single cramped seat with no shoulder or leg room, so I remained standing. I tried to make eye contact with some people in the bunches by the doors to indicate there were places to sit down, but no one seemed interested. Oh well.

I think it doesn’t matter how you change the trains, whether you’re able to put more seats in, or remove more seats, DC commuters are just resistant to change. People are so sure that they have to be the first person out of the train when those doors open that they’ll press themselves up against the door (even though you have many signs asking/telling them not to) even when there’s a place to sit, and then they probably go off and complain that their commute sucks because they “couldn’t find” a seat. Bah!

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