Massive Metro Mess in Columbia Heights This Morning

A reader sends in the photo at 8:34am and sums up the situation succinctly:

“So, this is happening.”

Ugh. Anyone know what caused the back up? So far no word from WMATA’s twitter feed.

Pablo updates with this great photo:

39 Comment

  • Wow.. thanks for sharing this. I was about to head out to the Metro at Columbia Heights, but now will work from home for a bit before heading in.

  • Wow, what a mess. I was there this morning at 7:45ish and there was nothing like this going on.

  • Problem was fixed just got to work after taking the green line from there. Just a down train.

  • A down train because someone busted the doors. The train operator basically said, “When the bell chimes, the doors are closing. For the person in the last car, do not block the door. We will be forced to off load everyone if you do. It’s your choice.” That person made the WRONG CHOICE.

    • So this clown decides he’d rather jump on a train and break the doors, further delaying his commute (and the commute of hundreds of others) because he wanted to save an extra five minutes? That makes sense.

      It’s one thing if it’s a WMATA issue, which is frustrating in and of itself, but a whole other issue if it’s because some d-bag thinks the rules don’t apply to him.

    • I believe the first words out of the driver’s mouth were “you are killing me…folks”. Which of course made everyone chuckle because we had no idea we were going to be kicked off the train and delayed. I will never laugh again on metro…ever.

    • The driver was more than fair. He basically said “You either get out of the way of the door, or I’m going to have to offload the entire train.” The rider blocking the door ignored the warning and, thus, we were all offloaded. There was another train arriving in 2 minutes.

    • Any reaction from the crowd at the douche who blocked the door? Some negative comments from other riders (peer pressure) would help to dissuade some of this behavior.

      • I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if this was the same type of situation…but I was one a green line train at gallery place a couple months ago and a teenager held the doors open for at least 3-5 minutes while the train operator complained over the PA system. The rest of the passengers and I asked (and then yelled at) him to cut it out so we could be on our way. The doors finally stopped chiming and he took off up the escalators, but they had to unload the entire train and reset something before we could leave the station. It probably caused a 20 minute delay.

      • I don’t know – sometimes the doors just break (like everything else on Metro) and the driver blames it on a customer, even when it’s not the case. I’ve been on a train where everyone on the car could see the door unable to close, and there wasn’t anyone trying to block it. In fact, passengers were trying to get the door to close. We edned up having to get off the train and wait for another one. Of course, passengers constantly trying to hold the door open might lead to more broken doors. But also, stuff just breaks down on Metro all the time.

      • I was once on a Red Line train that had to be offloaded at Union Station in the middle of rush hour because one woman blocked the door and ended up breaking it. She seemed to think it was the funniest thing she’d ever done. So public shaming doesn’t work 100% of the time, unfortunately. But people don’t speak up nearly as much as they should have.

        I’ve also been in a situation like the one Gallery of Peanuts described, where one door was just broken (i.e. not being held open by someone).

  • I hate on Metro as much as the next guy, but they did a pretty good job taking care of the problem this morning. I don’t know exactly when this started but the platform looked just like that when I arrived and everything was resolved within 10-15 minutes.

  • burritosinstereo

    If it was like this at 7 when I got there I would have turned around and gone home immediately.

  • So that’s why it took about ten minutes to get from Petworth to Columbia Heights on the Green Line. I am now forwarding this to my boss to excuse my tardiness. Thank you Prince!

  • Why isn’t there a metro employee on the platform that the driver can call to deal with these situations? Even if it’s just the sunny customer service professional in the booth up top, wouldn’t it have been more efficient to have an actual human walk up to the door in question, remove the door obstruction, and let everyone get on their way?

  • lol. It’s like a Goya painting!

  • Yeah, seriously. I got there around 8:45 and everything was absolutely fine. This doesn’t seem like a massive mess to me at all.

  • Second everything above regarding the train doors. I hopped on this train at College Park. At West Hyattsville, the last train car was experiencing door issues which led to a 10 minute stall. The operator actually made an announcement that he was leaving his cab to fix the door issue. We were good to go until Columbia Htgs. Guess some jackfool decided to hop in at the last minute. Le sigh.

    • gotryit

      jackfool… +1, I think

      • Classic…there was clearly an issue with this train before it pulled into the stop (originally the train was due to arrive in two minutes, but it took another 5 before it slowly pulled into Columbia Heights). The driver then complains that it is a passengers fault, not metro’s fault. This made us all feel better. Blame the jerk on the last train. Not metro.

  • these things really do clear up quickly – i got there about 8:55 and everything was normal. it does feel like the worst thing in the world if you’re stuck in it though.

  • Massive mess? Sorry but it looks pretty orderly to me. I guess when I read the headline, I thought the photo would show something different. This is a back-up of trains so sure an annoying, delayed, packed commute – yes. Massive mess – no.

  • If they put razor blades on the edge of the doors this would happen a lot less.

    • I agree completely. I hope the people at WMATA are listening, because you have a great idea. Maybe electrify the razor blades too?

    • But then I think of my husband who had just recovered from having his arm reconstructed after an accident, only to be shoved by someone intent on getting on that train, to have the door close on his arm and rebreak it. Two surgeries down. One more and he may lose it. Makes me love the metro jerks all that much more.

    • ah

      Too rash. Instead, extendable sharp spikes that the driver can activate after three attempts to close the door.

  • I was standing on the platform with many others at U Street while this was going on and the personnel at the station actually did a fairly good job of informing us of what was happening. Metro offloaded a northbound train at U Street and then rerouted it south to alleviate the backup problems at stations to the south. Unfortunately for those of at U Street, it waited until it got to Shaw to take on new southbound passengers.

  • I’ve seen kids do this twice, i.e., hold the door open for a friend who was coming and both times me and another person simply confronted them (which worked the first time) and pulled them in and held them while the door closed (the second time).

    I hear stories of people complaining that they were offloaded because some kid / person was holding the door and I don’t understand it. Why are a car full of people letting themselves be punked by one or two? Assert yourself folks unless you plan on going through the rest of your life being walked on.

  • While there are certainly times when someone is actually holding the doors, in my experience the vast majority of the itme it is some sort of malfunction not caused by a person.

    I think metro needs to have the station manager get out of their booths and actually investigate what is going on more often. Also it would be nice if there was a system of monitors with cameras that would allow the driver to see the whole length of his train. Not only would help in these situations but it would help during rush hour when the operator tries closing the doors when people are still getting off the train.

    • Come on, how would you even know that? You just happened to be right next to the broken door every time so you were able to assess the root cause of the situation?

      • I have been on the platform enough with a full car and could see all of the doors and could see no one was holding them. I have also been on plenty of trains that have had this issue and have yet to see anyone holding doors for extended periods of time. The law of averages would say 1/6 (or 1/8) of the time it would be on my car yet it never has. I would assume in most cases if someone really was holding the door for extended periods of time someone in the car would do something. Also I have seen metro’s ability to maintain escalators among other things and it seems to me based on experience and logic that more often then not it is a mechanical orders.

  • Wow, that picture reminds me of the Moscow subway – except it’s always that crowded during rush hour. The trains there are really efficient and come every couple of minutes. Also the doors slam shut and don’t reopen, so no one dares to hold them open. In Soviet Russia metro door breaks you!

    • +1 Though the trains on the Moscow subway are from the 1970s or earlier and are very loud, the trains are so frequent that they are only separated by seconds. Also, the stations are pieces of art, much more beautiful than the Metro. The best thing about Moscow.

  • I was on the train that was offloaded. If it was a malfunctioning door on one car, why couldn’t he just close down that one car and continue on? I’ve seen trains before where one car is not in service. Anyhow, it wasn’t that bad and did not take long to resolve.

    • For some reason, probably some sort of liability, they can’t. I’ve also been on trains that had to be offloaded due to a single malfunctioning door.

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