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Thursday, August 23, 2012

WaPo Ed Board: Root, root, root for getting Nats fans home

The Nationals could make an agreement with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to keep trains running past normal operating hours. To do this, they would have to put down a $29,500 deposit, which covers the cost of operating Metro’s 86 stations for an additional hour. Then, if it appears that a game will run late — in the case of a rain delay, for instance — the Nationals could contact Metro to exercise that agreement at any point before 11 p.m.

Making such an agreement sounds far more reasonable than the chaotic scene Monday night: ushers and scoreboard messages alerting fans that the last train was to depart at 11:20 and hundreds of the more than 21,000 fans exiting the ballpark with the game far from over. The Nationals have offered no explanation for the lack of a contract with WMATA to hedge against fiascoes like Monday’s; maybe team officials think there’s too little fan interest for the cost. On the one occasion that Metro did operate late — for a Sunday-night matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 6 — only 445 fans used Metrorail in the extra hour of service, costing the team more than $60 per passenger.

The Nats ought to take another look. The 11:20 exodus from Monday’s game seems to indicate strong fan interest in later Metro service.

JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:04 AM | 120 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: community, fan, nationals, stadiums

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   1. McCoy Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4215707)
Have people never heard of the bus?
   2. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4215723)
Seriously, McCoy? Someone living in Van Ness, let alone Ballston or Lanham, should wait near the ballpark at midnight for a city bus to chug along?
   3. Chris Needham Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4215743)
How embarrassing is it that you have a major city where the last trip home is at 11:20?
   4. will Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:40 AM (#4215747)
Regular season games start at 7:05, but post-season games often start at 8:20/8:30. Somebody needs to fix this.....
   5. Mayor Blomberg Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4215760)

How embarrassing is it that you have a major city where the last trip home is at 11:20?


Houstonians say Hi. last from Reliant to downtown = 11:20 weeknights, from MMP at midnight.
   6. Chris Needham Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4215762)
But that's Houston. Everyone there has 4 SUVs.
   7. Chris Needham Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4215763)
[4] Little birdies have said they'll do it for the post-season.

Besides, we know the Nats are getting the 1 or 4 pm slot!
   8. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4215764)
Everything about the Metro is an embarrassment. I'm amazed that there's still one person using it, much less 445.

I'd rather walk the six miles back home than give one more dime to the current WMATA. I'd save a few bucks, I'd get a lot more exercise, and I would probably get home faster too.
   9. DKDC Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4215775)
Is closing the subway around midnight on weekdays really that out of the ordinary for a major city?

Quick google search (so this may be wrong) says this is also true in:

Shanghai Metro
Seoul Metro
London Underground
Beijing Subway
Mexico City Metro
Barcelona Metro

and many more I'm sure
   10. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4215778)
The Metro is a terrible experience. I'd rather drive and pay the $20 for parking..last night I got out of the stadium area in ten minutes, so it wasn't bad at all. I walked by the Navy Yard station on my way out and they were stacked up like cordwood pushing to get on the train. No thanks.
   11. OsunaSakata Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4215783)
I thought that the reason that ties were allowed in Japan was that so the fans could get home before the trains stopped running for the night.
   12. Chris Needham Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4215791)
Midnight to me != 11:20. I know because of distant stations that you need to draw a line at some point, but 11:20 strikes me as awfully early.

Although the UnsuckDCMetro blog points out there's a "hidden" train at about 11:40 that picks up the last few stragglers. They just don't want to advertise that because they want to close the damn system.
   13. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4215793)
Te anti-Metro sentiment is interesting. I've always thought that the Metro was one of the best subway systems in the country. It's not especially crowded, it's a big system given the size of the city, and the stations all have those little signs telling you when the next trains are coming in. I'm surprised at the frustration with it. I've only been there visiting, but I rode a lot of trains to a lot of places and found it to be a lot more pleasant than most systems.

The 11:20 thing is ridiculous, though. The T in Boston sends out the last trains around 12:15, and that's always been something of a joke. An hour earlier is pretty stupid.
   14. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4215808)
I've always thought that the Metro was one of the best subway systems in the country.

It used to be, and not all that long ago either. But it has been allowed to go completely down the toilet, and just about everyone who has lived in this metro area for more than a few years or so knows it.
   15. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4215810)
What was especially ridiculous about this was that the game was delayed for 45 minutes while it barely rained. If you are going to leave people hanging late at night, at least take some steps to get the games going on time.

I love the Nats and really enjoy rooting for them. But the team management routinely treats its fans like garbage.

I've always thought that the Metro was one of the best subway systems in the country.

They keep raising the prices (I think they have gone up three times since I moved here) and the service is getting worse, especially on the Orange/Blue lines. It only takes a couple times of being 45 minutes late to work while getting no information regarding the delay and then being charged 5 bucks for the ride before you start hating the WMATA and the metro.
   16. TerpNats Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:20 PM (#4215811)
The Washington of 2012 is significantly different than the D.C. of some three decades ago when the midnight weekday closing time was instituted, and Metro should change accordingly. No, Washington will never be a 24-hour city like New York, but it has long shed its sleepy "government town" reputation. Metro should now close at 1 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays, lessening the chances of a fiasco along the lines of what happened Monday.
   17. Steve N Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:23 PM (#4215816)
I use the DC Metro whenver I visit the city and have always found to be quick, clean, and a good ride. I once lived in the DC area and used it occasionally at rush hour. Very busy, very crowded. Not sure how this would be different in any other metro area.
   18. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4215826)
Metro cannot maintain the system in place today, yet wouldn't ya know, it's in the process of adding 23 more miles of track en route to Tysons Corner and Dulles.
   19. jmurph Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4215830)
I think the fact that there have been massive system-wide delays, including frequent closures, nearly every single weekend (including holiday weekends) for 3 years now since the red line accident tells you about all you need to know. It's a region-wide embarrassment.
   20. jmurph Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:32 PM (#4215836)
Very busy, very crowded. Not sure how this would be different in any other metro area.


It's been explained to me (note that I can't corroborate this, so I hope I'm not spreading BS) that there are very few places in the tunnels where trains are able to pass each other (meaning: in the event of a problem with one train, a train going in the same direction would be able to pass it in the tunnel). So in a sense, according to this telling, the system is built to succeed only when things are going perfectly, which of course rarely happens.
   21. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:50 PM (#4215861)
It's been explained to me (note that I can't corroborate this, so I hope I'm not spreading BS) that there are very few places in the tunnels where trains are able to pass each other (meaning: in the event of a problem with one train, a train going in the same direction would be able to pass it in the tunnel). So in a sense, according to this telling, the system is built to succeed only when things are going perfectly, which of course rarely happens.

Compare with NY. Suppose there is a stalled train at the Spring Street local station on the C line. The controllers have two options: Send the C express or have it switch to the F line at Jay Street, then resume its normal run at West 4th. Neither option is available in DC, as there are neither express tracks nor overlapping routes with switch tracks.

Consequently, Metro riders have to put up with "one-tracking," even in the heart of DC.
   22. jmurph Posted: August 23, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4215871)
And JE with the smart version. Thanks, that's interesting.
   23. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4215877)

I always take the metro to Nats games and it never takes me more than a few minutes to get a train home. I've never been stuck for very long, or had to wait more than 10 minutes for a train, and that's in probably 50 games over the years.
   24. Chris Needham Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:11 PM (#4215890)
Well, the team has found a solution.

Let's ask the DC Taxpayers to take care of it. What an effing bunch of cheapass lowrent morons.
   25. smileyy Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:21 PM (#4215910)
Metro cannot maintain the system in place today, yet wouldn't ya know, it's in the process of adding 23 more miles of track en route to Tysons Corner and Dulles.


I always thought it was kind of a joke that there's no metro service to Dulles.
   26. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:31 PM (#4215928)
It's not all that unusual for the train systems to not go to the airport, thanks to the political power of the local taxicab driver lobbies.
   27. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4215930)
Sorry for the attempted thread hijack, but since the Commonwealth of Virginia is at least tangential to this conversation, has anyone seen the report that the owners of the Sacramento Kings have agreed to move the franchise to Virginia Beach ?
   28. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4215951)
METRO doesn't go to Virginia Beach, unfortunately.
   29. TerpNats Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:44 PM (#4215957)
Sorry for the attempted thread hijack, but since the Commonwealth of Virginia is at least tangential to this conversation, has anyone seen the report that the owners of the Sacramento Kings have agreed to move the franchise to Virginia Beach?
Better them than the Expos, and that silly move by Cuban Pete to thwart the move to Washington through those Bill-and-Ted types in Norfolk.
   30. Lassus Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4215961)
It's not all that unusual for the train systems to not go to the airport, thanks to the political power of the local taxicab driver lobbies.

I really can't tell if this is a joke or not.
   31. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:46 PM (#4215962)
I always thought it was kind of a joke that there's no metro service to Dulles


Yup. As long as you don't want to go further than Vienna, you're all set.
   32. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4215965)
I always thought it was kind of a joke that there's no metro service to Dulles.


It is out in the middle of nowhere.

DCA, however, is more metro accessible than basically any other major city airport I can think of short of Hong Kong.
   33. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 01:51 PM (#4215970)
METRO doesn't go to Virginia Beach, unfortunately.

I am scared to check the Amtrak timetable.
   34. Busted Flush Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:06 PM (#4215995)
This seems close enough in subject...I'm heading to DC next month and will be catching my first Nats games. Any Primates have advice on making the most of the game day experience?

Edit: other than catching the Merto by 11:20 I suppose
   35. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4216003)
Any Primates have advice on making the most of the game day experience?

Get there early and walk over to Eastern Market and go to DC-3 for hot dogs.
   36. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:15 PM (#4216009)
Just to corroborate those who write of Metro's decline. I took public transit to work for 30 years, but now drive from Virginia though I work in the heart of the city. There used to be ways to make the ride more comfortable -- timing out trains to get a less-packed one or riding back a few stops then getting a train going the right way -- but those have all been pretty much cut off as the system has gotten more crowded.

It would have been nice if the Post had simply pointed out that seeing a whole ballgame has never been guaranteed by anyone, and left it at that.
   37. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:16 PM (#4216010)
This seems close enough in subject...I'm heading to DC next month and will be catching my first Nats games. Any Primates have advice on making the most of the game day experience?


Try having a pre-game drink along Barracks Row (Eighth Street, SE). I think the Ugly Mug still offers a free shuttle to the ballpark. If you're going to a day game, stop off at Manglialardo & Sons Italian Deli on Penn and 13th, SE for a sandwich. (IIRC, the joint is only open for lunch.)
   38. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4216022)
I think the Ugly Mug still offers a free shuttle to the ballpark


It does
   39. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:22 PM (#4216025)
It's not all that unusual for the train systems to not go to the airport, thanks to the political power of the local taxicab driver lobbies.

I really can't tell if this is a joke or not.

in NYC, it's certainly not a joke...
   40. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:34 PM (#4216039)
Any Primates have advice on making the most of the game day experience?


Where are you coming from? I usually just hang out at the half-street fairgrounds till I'm ready to go in, but I live on the yellow/green so it isn't a big trek for me.
   41. OsunaSakata Posted: August 23, 2012 at 02:54 PM (#4216079)
METRO doesn't go to Virginia Beach, unfortunately.

I am scared to check the Amtrak timetable.


Amtrak only goes to Newport News. You have to take a bus to get Virginia Beach.
   42. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 23, 2012 at 03:27 PM (#4216123)
Get there early and walk over to Eastern Market and go to DC-3 for hot dogs.

That's a fairly ambitious walk, but METRO goes to Eastern Market, and as others have noted, there is a free shuttle from at least one bar in that neighborhood.
   43. Busted Flush Posted: August 23, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4216188)
Where are you coming from?

I'm staying in Lafayette Square.

And thanks for all the suggestions. They sound good.

   44. Gonfalon B. Posted: August 23, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4216206)
I was in Washington DC last year, and took a bunch of subway rides. Except for one moment of confusion when I was "trapped" inside a station holding a ticket whose value was precisely 5 cents less than what I needed to be allowed to exit through the turnstile, everything ran smoothly. However, I've seen a ton of online Tom Toles cartoons that suggest otherwise, so I probably just got lucky.
   45. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 23, 2012 at 04:22 PM (#4216208)
I'm staying in Lafayette Square.

The Mall and Monuments are pretty close, as are the Smithsonian museums, if you haven't done that previously. Capitol Hill gets you closer to Nationals Park, if you want to do something in that neighborhood, but the METRO to the ball park is the Green Line, so doing something along that route (Gallery Place, National Archives) before heading to the Park also works well.
   46. Busted Flush Posted: August 23, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4216222)
Except for one moment of confusion when I was "trapped" inside a station holding a ticket whose value was precisely 5 cents less than what I needed to be allowed to exit through the turnstile

I believe the Kingston Trio wrote a song about you. Though "Gonfalon Bubble" doesn't have the same ring as poor old "Charlie."

The Mall and Monuments are pretty close, as are the Smithsonian museums, if you haven't done that previously

I've actually not been to DC before and am looking forward to the visit. I refrained from opening up a can of worms and asking for any general suggestions on must visit museums, resturants, etc. (though I'm all ears), as I'll only be in town for a long weekend.
   47. McCoy Posted: August 23, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4216256)
Seriously, McCoy? Someone living in Van Ness, let alone Ballston or Lanham, should wait near the ballpark at midnight for a city bus to chug along?

Yes.
   48. McCoy Posted: August 23, 2012 at 05:45 PM (#4216263)
You can take the Green Line up to U Street station and get yourself a chili half smoke at Ben's Chili Bowl which is across the street from the station. Or you could simply just go to their food stand in the park. As an outing I'm not really impressed with Eastern Market. I go their to get my half smokes and meats for my cookouts but there just isn't a lot of stuff their for some day outing instead of market shopping.

It really depends on how much you want to walk. For instance you can take the blue/orange line to GWU and walk the rest of the way to Georgetown. DC is so small you can walk, bus, or metro to any place in the city and it will just take you minutes. Even the cab rides will cost you less than 10 bucks to go to most places. So really the entire city is available as well NoVA.
   49. smileyy Posted: August 23, 2012 at 05:46 PM (#4216264)
DCA, however, is more metro accessible than basically any other major city airport I can think of short of Hong Kong.


Assuming your flight gets in before midnight.
   50. McCoy Posted: August 23, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4216269)
Beer:
Churchkey
Pizzeria Paradiso
Smoke & Barrel

Wine:
Urbana
Proof
Veritaas

Tapas:
Jaleo
Masa 14

BBQ:
Hill Country
Henry's Soul Cafe
Rocklands
Standard

Burgers:
Black & Orange
BGR
Shake Shack
Five Guys
Ray's Hell Burger (Arlington)
   51. TerpNats Posted: August 23, 2012 at 07:24 PM (#4216311)
Pizza:
Ledo (a few places in the District, more in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs)
   52. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 23, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4216316)
I'm staying in Lafayette Square.


Oh, you have all kinds of options. McCoy's list is a good start. If I were you I'd chill out at RFD or the Passenger or somewhere on the yellow green, and then pop down to the park. If you want a great fancy meal I'd hit up Corduroy or Rasika.


   53. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 23, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4216317)
For pizza, Red Rocks and Radius are great in Columbia Heights. I'm a huge fan of Two Amy's if you get the stuffed pizza.
   54. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 08:57 PM (#4216375)
Seriously, McCoy? Someone living in Van Ness, let alone Ballston or Lanham, should wait near the ballpark at midnight for a city bus to chug along?
Yes.

In that case, I would hope they would have nothing on the schedule until noon the following day.
   55. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:00 PM (#4216377)
The District is not exactly heaven for Chinese food, but Meiwah west of Dupont Circle (New Hampshire & M) is the best of the lot.
   56. Busted Flush Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:21 PM (#4216412)
Is DC known for any food or dish that I'm not aware of? Mid-September will be in the heart of crab season, right? Five Guys is great but they've expanded to me in Chicago. I keep hearing about Ben's Chili Bowl (is it that good?), but anything else truly regional?

And thanks again for all the pointers. I trust the average Primate more than Yelp or the like.
   57. Chris Needham Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:48 PM (#4216422)
[56] Museum tip... Unless you're gung-ho on seeing some of the more famous touristy things at the Smithsonian, I'd recommend picking one of the smaller ones. The Sackler Gallery, for example, is a gorgeous museum, and doesn't have the crowds of something like the Air and Space. There's always a temptation to want to do a million things, but sometimes focusing on one smaller one can be more rewarding. (If you do that, don't do the Native American museum... blech).

Another thing to consider is the Capital Bikeshare. I think 1-day passes are under $10. You can use that to zip from point to point in the city... My favorite touristy thing is to walk around the tidal basin, catching the Jefferson, FDR, MLK and Washington Monuments. It's especially nice (and less crowded) in the evening.
   58. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 23, 2012 at 10:57 PM (#4216426)
Any Primates have advice on making the most of the game day experience?
Email Larry, see if he's working the game.
   59. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:03 AM (#4216452)
In that case, I would hope they would have nothing on the schedule until noon the following day.

If you were to hustle right now you could catch a bus leaving Navy Yard area and it would be at Van Ness at 12:34. 30 minutes is about how long you'd expect it to take if you were to use the Metro.
   60. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM (#4216454)
Is DC known for any food or dish that I'm not aware of?

Nothing much outside of half-smokes. They do have a ton of Ethiopian and Indian restaurants and the suburbs seem to be packed with Korean joints. I'd also say they have a pretty large selection of Peruvian restaurants as well.
   61. Kurt Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4216464)
Ben's Chili Bowl is more for the history than the food, which is okay but nothing special.

Second the recommendation for the Sackler (and Freer) galleries.
   62. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:59 AM (#4216467)
Is DC known for any food or dish that I'm not aware of


If you are coming from chicago, there will be plenty of places with great seafood. I'd sooner go towards the bay for crabcakes but you'll still be able to get nice ones in the city. There are a couple of great sushi joints.

If you are willing to go into the suburbs, the korean and vietnamese will beat what you can get in chicago. The ethiopian is nice here, but probably you can get just as good in chitown.
   63. toratoratora Posted: August 24, 2012 at 02:03 AM (#4216479)
Comments
1-I've never had a really bad experience on the Metro in all the years I've lived in MD. I guess the worst I saw was at a Faith No More/Guns n Roses/Metallica concert at RFK where the Metro closed before the concert ended, but that wasn't really their fault-a**hole Axl came on like three hours late so the show didn't end til ridiculous o'clock. From my understanding (I caught a ride with a friend)the scene at the closed Metro got kinda ugly

2-That said, I can't say the same about taxi's in DC. Those things are nuts. They have all sorts of weird "zones" and different charges for passing through them. I've literally gotten off the Metro, hailed a cab, given him the addy I was looking for, had the hack drive us one, count em one, block (This was pre GPS cell phone days), and charged me twenty bucks because I crossed over a zone. Insanity.

3-I know it's not a great paper or anything, but the Washington Times did a nice series on Metro's failings a while ago.The came up with a pretty damning pattern of nepotism, racism, sexism and outright incompetence at an admin level. Here's a link to the first article.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/26/metro-derailed-by-culture-of-complacence-incompete/?page=all#pagebreak
   64. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: August 24, 2012 at 02:18 AM (#4216482)
How embarrassing is it that you have a major city where the last trip home is at 11:20?


I remember hearing a similar announcement in SF a few years back, leading to a mass exodus in about the 8th inning in a game that was going slowly. Might have been on a Sunday, though.
   65. Cowboy Popup Posted: August 24, 2012 at 03:09 AM (#4216493)
If you are coming from chicago, there will be plenty of places with great seafood.

If you like raw shellfish, both Clyde's in Chinatown and Hank's Oysters have raw bar happy hours (Hank's may just be oysters). I think McCormick and Schmick does too. Probably a few other places too. If you like oysters or raw clams, it's pretty amazing.
   66. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 24, 2012 at 07:59 AM (#4216526)
If you were to hustle right now you could catch a bus leaving Navy Yard area and it would be at Van Ness at 12:34. 30 minutes is about how long you'd expect it to take if you were to use the Metro.


Interesting, McCoy, but Metrobus has its own issues. What happens if the bus leaving the Navy Yard is packed? When's the next bus due to arrive?

And what advice do you have for a fan living in Ballston or Lanham?

Meanwhile...

Report: Nationals want D.C. to pay for extra Metro service during playoffs
   67. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 24, 2012 at 08:29 AM (#4216532)
Although the UnsuckDCMetro blog points out there's a "hidden" train at about 11:40 that picks up the last few stragglers. They just don't want to advertise that because they want to close the damn system.

I love the fact that if you accidentally type unsuckdcmetro.com into the browser instead of the blog's true URL of unsuckdcmetro.blogspot.com, it redirects you to the WMATA site. Yep, the agency is actually paying money to have control of the unsuckdcmetro.com web domain. You really can't make sh*t like this up.
   68. jmurph Posted: August 24, 2012 at 08:34 AM (#4216541)
That said, I can't say the same about taxi's in DC. Those things are nuts. They have all sorts of weird "zones" and different charges for passing through them. I've literally gotten off the Metro, hailed a cab, given him the addy I was looking for, had the hack drive us one, count em one, block (This was pre GPS cell phone days), and charged me twenty bucks because I crossed over a zone. Insanity.


The zone system is finally gone, we're on normal meters just like everywhere else. The only problem for out of towners is the inexplicable fee structure whereby the cab driver just "randomly" adds several dollars to the start of your trip based on things you'll never understand (I mostly understand them, as a resident, but it's still sometimes jarring).
   69. Lassus Posted: August 24, 2012 at 08:36 AM (#4216542)
in NYC, it's certainly not a joke...

The A goes right to JFK (with help from additional public MONORAIL!). Public transport to LaGuardia is NR and bus, but equally easy.

If you're going to Newark, I can't help you, nor do you deserve help.
   70. GregD Posted: August 24, 2012 at 09:20 AM (#4216574)
If you're going to Newark, I can't help you, nor do you deserve help.
Newark is easy to get to. NJT to monorail. I live on the Upper West Side and can get to Newark faster than either of the NY airports by public transport. (By cab obviously LaGuardia is much faster.)

On closing times, I remember being shocked by Boston's closing times and wondering if the taxi lobby had set it up so the T closed before the bars.

Given that Washington's subway gets more usage than any place except NY, you'd think they'd at least hit 1230 or 1.

How many places have 24 hour coverage other than NYC? Philly. Chicago's Red and Blue lines. Anything else?
   71. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2012 at 09:38 AM (#4216590)
And what advice do you have for a fan living in Ballston or Lanham?

Drive/Taxi.
   72. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: August 24, 2012 at 09:55 AM (#4216603)
I've only used the Metro once: 4th of July several years ago, 95 degrees, waiting for the train, underground, packed in like sardines. For half an hour.

Oh, and did I mention I'm claustrophobic?
   73. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4216613)
Never really had a problem with Metro and I use it almost every single day. Then again I don't demand absolute perfection out of a complicated system of mass transit every single time I use it. I'd love for the Metro to stay open an hour longer but it doesn't mean much that they don't.
   74. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:08 AM (#4216614)
Spoken like a wonderfully sympathetic resident of the District, McCoy (#71)!

EDIT: #73. "Never really had a problem with Metro and I almost every single day. Then again I don't demand absolute perfection out of a complicated system of mass transit every single time I use it."

We can now deduce that you don't live/work close to the Dupont Metro stop... ;-)
   75. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4216624)
Spoken like a wonderfully sympathetic resident of the District, McCoy (#71)!

I know it is torture to drive at midnight 7 miles or so but do it for the kids.

The thing is is that Navy Yard to Ballston will take you 45 minutes to an hour on the Metro so even if they push back the schedule by an hour you're still getting home late so this whole notion of better not have to do anything early in the morning the next day thing because you took the bus is a red herring.

We can now deduce that you don't live/work close to the Dupont Metro stop... ;-)

Use it almost every day.
   76. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4216638)
Use it almost every day.

Just. Wow.

No, McCoy, what's ridiculous is that on weeknights the last Metro leaves Dupont shortly after midnight, yet the last train supposedly leaves the Navy Yard at 11.20, even when there is a widely attended event taking place at Nats Park.

The city and the team are constantly urging fans from one end of the Beltway to the other to take mass transit but are less than committed to ensuring that they can utilize the service when a game goes late.
   77. Chris Needham Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4216639)
Use it almost every day.

And you're not dead yet!?
   78. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4216641)
We can now deduce that you don't live/work close to the Dupont Metro stop.

No kidding. McCoy is either the luckiest dude in the city, or he's lying through his teeth. It's almost certainly the latter.
   79. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:45 AM (#4216645)
No, McCoy, what's ridiculous is that on weeknights the last Metro leaves Dupont shortly after midnight, yet the last train supposedly leaves the Navy Yard at 11.20, even when there is a widely attended event taking place at Nats Park.

The last train does not leave Navy Yard at 11:20. The last train leaves at 11:40. 95% of the games or more played at Nationals Park end well before the last train leaves for the night.


No kidding. McCoy is either the luckiest dude in the city, or he's lying through his teeth. It's almost certainly the latter.

Yep, I've been laying the groundwork for this lie for years all so it can payoff in a DC Metro thread.
   80. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4216648)
Yep, I've been laying the groundwork for this lie for years all so it can payoff in a DC Metro thread.

Nope, spouting bullsh*t is something that just comes naturally to you.
   81. jmurph Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4216652)
Yep, I've been laying the groundwork for this lie for years all so it can payoff in a DC Metro thread.


In McCoy's defense (seriously), I remember he once mentioned he barely uses the air conditioning, so the man clearly has a much higher tolerance for discomfort than the rest of us.
   82. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4216657)
No kidding. McCoy is either the luckiest dude in the city, or he's lying through his teeth. It's almost certainly the latter.


Or he has the normal experience that 90% of D.C. residents have. Metro isn't perfect, but having lived in Chicago, New York, Boston, and having spent tons of time all over Asia, the D.C. metro works just fine.
   83. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:59 AM (#4216658)
So far this year there have been 2 games played in which the game lasted more than 4 hours long and it was not played on a Friday or Saturday night. One supposedly ended at 11:20 while the last one supposedly ended by 11:32. I don't know how rain delays are counted since they don't appear on BRef as rain delays. For instance the August 21st game had a 51 minute delay while BRef lists the game only taking 2 hours and 24 minutes to play.
   84. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4216662)
Nope, spouting bullsh*t is something that just comes naturally to you.

I'm sorry, Joey, I don't hold a grudge as much as you do and demand the world be perfect all of the time. I've been going to the Dupont Metro Station on an almost daily occurrence for over two years now and I'll say it again I haven't had any problem above a slight inconvenience all during that time.
   85. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:08 AM (#4216667)
I used to take Metro every day. In ~2008 I think, around the time they were having a string of high-profile problems and delays were getting less tolerable, I decided to try driving (from Alexandria into downtown), and found that it was much less a hassle than I thought. Now I live too far out to make it worth taking Metro.

I defended Metro for a long time, but things really went downhill. What is missing somewhat from these critiques is that yes, WMATA has been incompetent and inefficient, but it's disingenuous to ignore the fact that Metro is beholden to three different jurisdictions in procuring its funding, and for many years rarely knew what it could count on longterm--and therefore it's no surprise that needed capital expenditures went unfunded, PM was allowed to slide, etc.

Again, WMATA bears a significant portion of the blame, but not all of it; to some degree it's like placing the blame for crumbling roads and bridges entirely at the feet of the US DOT, while giving a pass to the decision makers who failed to figure out how to fund maintenance and replacement.
   86. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4216672)
As noted above, the wrangling between the ballclub and city over who pays for the late trains during the postseason will be agonizing/fun to watch.
   87. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4216674)
If I had four or five hours for touristy stuff in DC, I'd see the Hope Diamond at Natural History, the Declaration/Constitution/Magna Carta at National Archives, and then head to Virginia and wander around Arlington Cemetery. You can get a map of the famous people's graves.

People have different tolerances for city life, but it's tough for me to imagine that someone wouldn't at least note a significant change in Metro quality over the last five years, even if they still found it tolerable.
   88. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4216677)
I defended Metro for a long time, but things really went downhill. What is missing somewhat from these critiques is that yes, WMATA has been incompetent and inefficient, but it's disingenuous to ignore the fact that Metro is beholden to three different jurisdictions in procuring its funding, and for many years rarely knew what it could count on longterm--and therefore it's no surprise that needed capital expenditures went unfunded, PM was allowed to slide, etc.

The system was built on the cheap and is already showing its age, a mere 35 years after opening. DC-area residents had better pray that the system 35 years from now is a quarter as efficient as what NYers experience today.
   89. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4216680)
I defended Metro for a long time, but things really went downhill. What is missing somewhat from these critiques is that yes, WMATA has been incompetent and inefficient, but it's disingenuous to ignore the fact that Metro is beholden to three different jurisdictions in procuring its funding, and for many years rarely knew what it could count on longterm--and therefore it's no surprise that needed capital expenditures went unfunded, PM was allowed to slide, etc.

I hear what you're saying Benji, but Metro fare rates have skyrocketed in the last three or four years or so. And if they're having funding issues, then why the hell are they wasting money on stupid bullsh*t like buying control of the "unsuckdcmetro.com" web domain? WMATA management is horrible and incompetent, and they are the ones who are mostly to blame for what happened, not Virginia or Maryland or anyone else.
   90. GregD Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:34 AM (#4216692)
Isn't Metro more dependent on fares for its budget than other comparable systems? And isn't its underlying committed funding even weaker than other subway systems, so it relies on year to year allocations? I have been told that, but could be wrong. I don't doubt they make foolish decisions with money, but so does every entity, public and private. I'm just asking about the relative importance of those bad decisions and the overall funding structure.
   91. Chris Needham Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4216705)
Not to be one of those dicks who latches on to a single tangential point to derail an argument, but I guess McCoy has amazing timing with his commutes. Or two days later. Or a week later. Or even the month before.
   92. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:42 AM (#4216709)
I hear what you're saying Benji, but Metro fare rates have skyrocketed in the last three or four years or so. And if they're having funding issues, then why the hell are they wasting money on stupid bullsh*t like buying control of the "unsuckdcmetro.com" web domain?
And I hear you, but fares have to go up to fund all the needed maintenance (Edit: and capital expenditures like new rail cars) that was neglected for so long, unless any of those three jurisdictions (or the fed'l government) was suddenly going to kick in a ton of money toward it. I know it's painful to pay more exactly as service is at its nadir, but I don't know that they have better options. (And remember that at the same time, the cost to drive has jumped significantly as well in the same timeframe.)

On the domain, can't you register one and set up a pointer for $20/year or so? If they were spending a grand or something, I'd agree.
   93. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4216711)
I've only used the Metro once: 4th of July several years ago, 95 degrees, waiting for the train, underground, packed in like sardines. For half an hour.

Oh, and did I mention I'm claustrophobic?


I work in NYC, many subway platforms in the summer clear 100 easily...
Some platforms have fans, I've heard rumors that some have AC (the 4/5/6 lines- which I don't take).

The one good thing in recent years? They've been installing signs telling you how many minutes away the next train are...

I'd love for the Metro to stay open an hour longer but it doesn't mean much that they don't.


doesn't mean much to you.


I take a commuter train into the city, years ago living in Carle Place (long Island) they changed the schedule, instead of a train living every hour, they one skipped an hour, no big deal right? It was a major inconvenience for me and everyone who got off at my stop- to get home I either had to leave work an hour earlier (which as it turned out was not allowed) or basically wait an extra hour to get home, considering that my daily commute (both ways) was already eating up nearly 3 hours a day- that pretty much wiped out my free time at home..
   94. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4216733)
Not to be one of those dicks who latches on to a single tangential point to derail an argument, but I guess McCoy has amazing timing with his commutes. Or two days later. Or a week later. Or even the month before.


Three of those say that some commuters had 10-20 minute delays. A ten minute delay isn't my favorite thing, but it happens sometimes in DC, just like it happened sometimes in Chicago, and it happened sometimes in New York. It is part of mass transit. Your day is not ruined by a 10 minute delay.
   95. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4216746)
Not to be one of those dicks who latches on to a single tangential point to derail an argument, but I guess McCoy has amazing timing with his commutes. Or two days later. Or a week later. Or even the month before.

Gasp, a delay at a certain point in time during the day. The horror.
   96. McCoy Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4216752)
doesn't mean much to you.

Yes because the bus is available.
   97. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:55 PM (#4216804)
Three of those say that some commuters had 10-20 minute delays. A ten minute delay isn't my favorite thing, but it happens sometimes in DC, just like it happened sometimes in Chicago, and it happened sometimes in New York. It is part of mass transit. Your day is not ruined by a 10 minute delay.


This is sort of what I was thinking about my experience with the Metro. I guess on an absolute level it probably sucks, but I was comparing it to years of commuting on the T in Boston and the CTA in Chicago, and Washington has always seemed better. I mean, the CTA is getting ready to close all Red Line service to the South Side for half a year, which is going to be a disaster for a huge number of people. And a 10-20 minute delay on my Green Line trips in Boston was an entirely regular experience.
   98. GregD Posted: August 24, 2012 at 02:25 PM (#4216927)
This is sort of what I was thinking about my experience with the Metro. I guess on an absolute level it probably sucks, but I was comparing it to years of commuting on the T in Boston and the CTA in Chicago, and Washington has always seemed better. I mean, the CTA is getting ready to close all Red Line service to the South Side for half a year, which is going to be a disaster for a huge number of people. And a 10-20 minute delay on my Green Line trips in Boston was an entirely regular experience.
My memory is the Red Line is unbelievably slow in Chicago.
   99. Nats-Homer-in-DC Posted: August 26, 2012 at 12:37 AM (#4218384)
One of the big reasons Metro is utilized by locals is because the government pays their fare. Absent that subsidy the system would be as neglected by riders as it is by its security officers, maintenance workers, and customer service attendants.
   100. McCoy Posted: August 26, 2012 at 01:45 PM (#4218576)
Yeah, spending 4 dollars or so a day is a price nobody on Earth would pay.
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