Saturday, July 23, 2005

Bomb, schmomb (or, Metro doesn't really give a damn if you get blowed up real good.)

In the aftermath of the London bombings, as we are all told to keep up our guard - and as Metro Police discuss random bag checks - let me share with you a heartwarming story of Metro's incredible incompetence. Yesterday, several riders on a Blue Line train were more than a bit distressed to see an abandoned, nondescript backpack in their rail car. At least two passengers brought this to the driver's attention, via the intercom. However, the driver simply continued her route, stopping at two more stations - including McPherson Square, just a couple of blocks from the White House. It was only after a passenger hopped out and alerted Metro Police on a platform that the train was stopped.

People were terrified. Some people were panicking and pounding on windows. Here is a classic quote from passenger Elaine Donnelly, who was on the affected train:

"A man called the driver on the intercom, and I could hear the driver insisting we had to clear the doors, to move the backpack because she was having trouble closing the doors."

Yeah. Cuz that's what you want to do when you potentially have a bomb on your train. Shut the friggin' doors with a car full of people and ask the passengers to MOVE THE BOMB. How utterly incompetent can you be?!?

All the talk about safety and security? It's total crap.

Incidents like this, that, had this actually been a bomb, would have cost many lives and limbs, greatly diminishes Metro's credibility and demonstrates not only a complete lack of training and professionalism, but also a tremendous lack of respect for the lives and safety of Metro's ridership. Is it any wonder I like to stay above ground in my Crapmobile rather than entrust my hide to Metro's boobery? I live on the Red Line, home to many track cracks, failed escalators, and the classic "mating trains" incident (that NTSB had warned Metro could happen) that ended in a spectacular crash at the Woodley Park station.

Metro should be ashamed of itself for the handling of yesterday's alert from its aware and concerned passengers. If a train is destroyed and lives lost because staff ignores passengers' pleas for help, there'll be more than shame to face.

Read the full Washington Post article here.


AlwaysTheAnalyst said...

Well that's not good!

I've got back from London and it was really great. After the first couple of times on the tube it felt quite normal to jump on and off them! They were doing bag checks every so often though. They only seemed to be male and asian the people who got stopped! Which as though it is the 'right people' to be searching, it feels racist to me!

Anonymous said...

Well, crap!

Reality is just too unbelievably scary for me to comprehend sometimes. It is situations like this that just point out how incredibly vunerable we are to further acts of terrorism.

Sitting ducks.