Northern Most Exit at Farragut North a Mess Due to only One Working Exit Gate


@chuckwestover tweets us just before 9am:

“Hey @Popville, looks like @wmata has only one working exit gate at Farragut North.”

And @jstnschneider tweets us:

“Farragut North also has broken escalators.”


40 Comment

  • Ugh. When that’s happened before the station managers will just open the gates and let people leave without swiping. Otherwise, this causes dangerous levels of crowding.
    During yesterday morning’s commute there were two down escalators and only one up escalator running from the platform to the fare gate level, which caused massive crowding. Which direction the escalators run at both Farragut stations seems like it should be really simple to figure out (up in the mornings, down in the evenings), but they are often running wrong.

    • justinbc

      Yeah, just open the gates and let the people through. They shouldn’t all have to suffer because of Metro’s failures.

      • If they just let you through don’t you have to see a station manager on the return trip? If the card doesn’t check out it won’t let you back through the gate into the station later?

        • Yes, this is true. But it’s preferable to dangerous crowding and a 10 minute wait to get out of the station.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      Unfortunately that wouldn’t work because two of the escalators are in the down position causing backups after the gate too.

      • west_egg

        OF COURSE they are.

      • justinbc

        LOL, wow, what a day for commuting.

      • Yup, this station was a mess this morning. It took me around 10 minutes just to leave the station. It didn’t help that 3 full trains unloaded on the platform within two minutes.
        The gate mess was at the Connecticut/L Street exit and the escalators were messed up at Conncticut/K Street exit. One escalator was closed for repair; another was turned on and moving downward. However, the third escalator was turned off and everyone had to walk up.

      • I Dont Get It

        Yeah I ended up taking the elevator the street level–it wasn’t a bad wait. A little annoyed at the woman who barged ahead of me and then when I tried to enter the elevator blocked me for her husband.

  • Um…. My bet is that there isn’t a station manager on site or at that entrance. If there were he/she could open gates and change direction of escalator. Awful incompetence yet again.

  • this is terrible! I would be so frustrated.

  • Who needs a station manager or for the faregates to be open? Just jump the damn gate or walk out the exit gate. It’s fascinating to see so many people eager to line up to pay for Metro’s service when nobody is doing their job.

    • I’d think that in a town mostly composed of federal bureaucrats, people are generally more invested in protocol and regulations. But I agree, it’s an interesting phenomenon.

      • As mentioned above, it’s the complication of having to Re-enter the system with a farecard that doesn’t have an exit recorded.

        • It’s not really that complicated. Either you give your card to the station manager, or you just walk back through the exit gate. Either way, you’ve saved a lot of time and energy.

          • Yes, and also, these people are presumably going to different stations, so it’s not like they’d all be jammed up getting out. Like you said, you just give the card to a station manager when you exit. Even if a lot of people are going to gallery place or metro center, there are multiple exits from which to choose.

    • Maybe folks are just being patient, willing to be cooperative, realize that the inclement weather is having an impact on service levels? Why the need to always castigate people and be so self focused?

      • What do broken gates, chronically broken and misdirected escalators have to do with inclement weather? This is par for the course for Metro, inclement weather just emphasizes the systems numerous ongoing flaws, and after years of being patient, tolerating and cooperating, I’m over it.

        • What do you mean by “over it”? Have you stopped using metro altogether or just stopped using it without complaining about it?

          • Are you suggesting that it’s somehow contradictory to use something and want it to be better at the same time? Yes, Metro is a more convenient (if longer) way for me to get to work. Does that mean it doesn’t have serious issues to address with efficiency and reliability? Of course not.

          • I’m not suggesting anything. You said you’re “over it” and I’m curious to know what that actually means. You didn’t really answer the question but it sounds like the latter.

      • It’s unsafe to load passengers int the station at a much faster rate than they can exit it. If I’m being self-focused in not wanting to die in a stampede, then so be it.

        • What is unsafe about patiently waiting in line? This doesn’t exactly look like a stampede. Unsafe would be mad rushes to jump turnstiles or rush exit gates without any clear direction.

          • Having been in this situation before, there’s likely a wall of people at the top of the escalator. Which means that it’s very difficult to get off the escalator at the top. That’s a recipe for disaster.

  • That looks miserable! The fare gates were a consistent problem when I lived near the Columbia Heights metro. I’d often miss trains because they weren’t working in the entrance directions, then there’d always be a long line to get out int he evening. It was so very frustrating!

  • Huh. I came through there around 8:15 without incident so I guess I missed the worst of it.

    I did notice that the down escalator at the Galleries exit of Gallery Place was not working and was accumulating significant snow and ice. It was incredibly slippery to walk down, even in snow boots. I was gripping the side with both hands and still almost went down.

    When I alerted the manager to the situation, he was just like “yeah it’s slippery.” Um, there is nothing you can do to clear the snow??? Or salt to make it less so? Someone is going to break a hip.

    • You want them to salt the escalator? That sounds like a pretty bad idea to me, unless you just want to make sure you have something else to complain about in a few weeks.

      • Obviously they can’t salt it (though they are always broken anyway, so I kind of figure why not!). But either clear what has accumulated on it or place one of those cones in front of it to close it off. At a station with multiple entrances it would be an inconvenience, but leaving it open as is was very dangerous.

        • Yeah, I can’t stand that exit. Why can’t they build a glass cover so that the escalator is protected from the elements? It’s always in disrepair and I imagine that has to at least partially be due to it being exposed to the elements year round.

          • This galls me to no end. It boggles my mind that we have not built coverings over every escalator in the system. The weather is the Number 1 culprit of broken down escalators. My guess is that a lucrative political donor has a very profitable contract to service the escalators. When I lived in China, they could install and begin operation for a new escalator within a matter of days. I see guys working on a single escalator for months at a time – it’s insane.

    • I’ve also never understood why they chose those tiles for the metro stations. It’s like they were engineered to become as slippery as humanly possible when wet. Were they picked out by personal injury lawyers? After one embarrassing half slip/split, I purchased some boots with hardcore rubber bottoms.

      • The same reason that nothing else in the system seems to make any sense what so ever. Unending constant incompetence.

  • Why don’t they get rid of the swipe out to exit? (Seriously, I’m not being sarcastic.) I was in NYC over Thanksgiving, and I was surprised that I never had to swipe out to get out of the subway. Much faster and easier, especially for a city like NYC that has a lot of tourists… and um, similarly DC with its tourists too! Make the system easier for everybody.

    • And losing the opportunity to charge us more if we rode the metro for more than a mile? No, Metro won’t change its policy: It allows them to display reasonably high fare but actually to charge you much more at the end of your ride…

    • west_egg

      DC’s fares are based on how far you travel within the system. If you don’t swipe out, they can’t tell how far you went.

    • Because the system is set up to charge you based on the distance traveled, so it needs to know point of entry AND point of exit.
      If we went to a system like New York’s, with one price for the whole system, metro would have to double the price we city dwellers pay for our relatively short rides. And we’d scream.

      • but if we went by NYC’s metro cards, there would also be the option for an unlimited monthly pass, valid on all transit. that’s the trade off…yes short trips might be more if you’re constantly adding money to your card, but if you have an unlimited pass (currently $112/mo) it’s irrelevant.

  • Let see how long it takes Metro before blaming customers/snow for that!
    Incompetent idiots…

  • This happened at Columbia Heights recently. The Metro attendants just let everyone leave, but that screws you the next time you try to get onto Metro, because your card won’t register an exit. So *everyone* has to go back to the attendant and have every card reset. Columbia Heights also has a problem where one turnstile will fail to read a single card, and will then completely melt down and fail to allow anyone else through. And the escalators are broken about 50% of the time.

  • It seems like this has been happening a lot in Columbia Heights as well.

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