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Dear PoPville – Metro Bus accountability?

by Prince Of Petworth March 26, 2013 at 3:15 pm 26 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user dcienne

Dear PoPville,

Yesterday I was driving on Capitol Hill and had to repeatedly hit the brakes because a Metro Bus was swerving into my lane. When we finally reached the red light, I looked over and saw the bus driver was texting! Who can we contact about this type of egregious behavior? And do they even care? Too often I see buses run red lights or drive around other cars, forcing them off to the shoulder to avoid getting hit.

You can file complaints on the customer contact form here.

  • That funny number plastered on the front, back, sides and interiors of buses is there for exactly this purpose. Call 311, complain about the driver, tell them the bus ID number. Done.

    • Anonymous

      That funny number 311 isn’t plastered anywhere on the front, back, side, or interior of a Metro Bus, and for good reason. 311 is for services provided by the DC government. WMATA is a separate entity, and has its own contact information. Undone?

      • Anonymous

        I believe the bus ID number is the “funny number” that ebgb is referring to. But yes, you are right, don’t call 311. There are plenty of ways to contact WMATA and 311 isn’t one of them. If it’s a really serious situation, call 911 like you would for any other emergency.

  • Has anyone ever complained to WMATA (using the form PoP linked to) and gotten a response other than a useless form letter?

    • EmDC

      I actually used that form once and got a reply within hours, asking for details. I was really surprised, to be honest.

    • Anonymous

      I actually complained about a Metro station manager, and they followed up with me. I was pretty impressed.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve never even gotten the useless form letter.

    • I have sent complaints and praise using that link and never hear back.

    • I have used this form and got a response (driver was trying to drive and eat breakfast) – simple email saying they would talk to the driver. Frankly, that seems like an appropriate amount of detail to give a citizen. I don’t need a read out from a private personnel meeting.

    • anon

      I submitted a complaint about a bus driver and told them I had photos of the incident that I could provide as documentation. No response at all.

    • I once sent a complaint – along with a photo – when I had a bus driver who spent the entire drive from BWI to Greenbelt chatting with her boyfriend, who was practically sitting on her seat with her. That felt completely unsafe as we were careening down the Baltimore Washington Parkway.

      I did eventually hear back from WMATA that they had identified the driver and disciplined her. They didn’t specify what form the discipline took (extra training, reprimand, whatever), but I was glad that they did respond.

    • Mike Rogers

      In 2001 I was on a Metro Bus and the driver was driving like a maniac. As the bus approached my stop I said “you know you’re driving quite a bit over the speed limit” he replied “Shut up you f***ing Fag**t.

      I got of the bus, sat down on the pavement in front of the bus and waited for the MPD to come and take a full report, including from two witnesses that supported me.

      I made demands: 1. He had to go to training 2. He was never to be assigned the 42 Bus Route again 3. a written acknowledgment and apology on behalf of WMATA.

      People need to stand up more to this kind of garbage.

      • Anonymous

        were your demands met?

      • You are my hero!

    • yep. I complained several years ago about a bus not following lanes (turning right from a left lane almost hitting me). I received several emails on the event.

  • halfsmoke

    Can you please run a caption contest with this picture?

  • That picture is great–please tell me it wasn’t staged. WMATA in a nutshell

  • I’ve talked to the offending bus driver – not sure if it worked or not.
    “You could have killed me if you hit me – you’re driving a bus.”
    “You’re driving a bus – you really should know the rules of the road.”
    They usually don’t say anything back, but I think I’d laugh my ass off if a driver flipped me off. Then report them.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve used the online form and received a sincere response. I provided time of the incident, location of bus stop and the bus number. They said they would address the incident with the driver.

    Question– has anyone else encountered a situation where the metro bus driver pulls over at a stop and just leaves the bus? This happened in adams morgan– the driver honestly walked away from the running bus. It also happens often at Dupont Circle. Drivers just abandon the bus when their shift is over without a new driver present.

    • Anonymous

      This happens often on the 16th street S buses, generally speaking the relief driver is there or it only takes a minute or 2, but there have been times where a driver leaves the bus completely.

  • I used to complain about prolonged idling of buses and never once got a reply.

    • Anonymous

      Did you really expect a response to that?

  • Anonymous

    From what I can tell, if you were constantly having this experience, it’s your freakin’ fault. The bus driver was just running his route and had to deal with one of the millions of horrible DC drivers out there every day. Didn’t they teach you to keep clear of hazards, give yourself a cushion, and give other drivers some space?!! If only our drivers drove like the organically weaving Italians! ;-)

    • anon

      “From what I can tell, if you were constantly having this experience, it’s your freakin’ fault.”

      Did you even read the original post?? The OP mentioned that the bus driver was TEXTING while driving.

      • Anonymous

        Did you even read the comment you responded to? There was a winky face at the end!

  • Anonymous

    this is the best picture i’ve seen all day. it’s perfect for my mood right now


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