Monday, August 6, 2007

Oh, Why Didn't They Just Give the Job to Tangherlini...

I am not one of the rabid commuters that takes every chance I get to complain about, talk down on or disparage the behemoth, local entity known as Metro. For all the sins its been party to over the last few years (including several deaths), Metro has seen increased ridership and has generally expanded service on the rails and road. With SmarTrip lanes, new rail cars, Circulator buses cashless parking, expansion of Metrorail to Tyson's and new MetroAccess partner.  Metro has done OK the last five years albeit with a few missteps.

One of the future missteps could be come in the form of reduced service.  John Catoe, the General Manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority wants to end the late night service on weekends that we've come to love.  I'm talking about the after midnight service which was extended to 1 AM in 1999 and later was pushed to 3 AM.  Catoe wants to end the "expensive" late night trains and replace them with buses.  Lame, lame, lame.  We already suffer from a complex, being a medium-sized city falling, population wise, somewhere between El Paso and Nashville.  We still have no representation in the U.S. Congress and the one time we tried to become a state we were flat out rejected.  I suppose we'll never outlive our reputation as a stuffy, no-fun, can't stay out past midnight cause tomorrow's a workday kind of place.  But at least the suburban folks, workers and even some tourists and District resident night owls can use the late night Metro service to get home on the weekends.  Metro should be extending this service, not restricting it.  I advocate extending the latenight service to the weekdays, at least until 1 or 2 AM.

Now in the scheme of things, having the Metro stay open until 3 AM on the weekends doesn't rank anywhere near achieving Congressional representation, but please, Catoe.  Don't hurt our collective psyche.  Please?  Just give us Dan Tangherlini.  He would have fixed things already.  And would have never let this idea some to the surface.