Moderate Snow Plan Off – All Metro operating on a regular weekday schedule

by Prince Of Petworth February 9, 2016 at 6:55 am 27 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mike Maguire

Metrobus moderate snow plan canceled for today – from WMATA:

“Metro service update – Tuesday 6:40 a.m.

UPDATE: All Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess service is operating on a regular weekday schedule today, Tuesday, February 9. There are no weather related issues to report.”

  • FridayGirl

    While I appreciated WMATA’s proactiveness for a massive blizzard that was forcasted a week out, I hope they realized that it’s unnecessary and irritating for them to call a moderate snow plan a day in advance when the storm might be a bust. I saw buses were running on normal schedule today on their website, but the electronic boards at the bus stops were still saying buses were on a moderate snow plan this morning……. I wonder how many people they confused.

    • ***

      Agreed. The Moderate Snow Plan call yesterday was completely asinine. There wasn’t even a drop of moisture on the ground and most forecasts had DC with less than 2″. Is that all it takes now for a moderate snow plan is a dusting?

      • shmoo

        but it was called off, so your complaining about nothing.

        • oh2dc

          WMATA put a plan in action that likely caused disruption. I think it is fair to say that is not nothing? Maybe you don’t think it is significant enough to warrant a complaint. Cheers for you.

          • FridayGirl

            It was called off IF you checked their website this morning. If you just happened to meander to a bus stop, you may have seen that the signs were still reading “buses are on a moderate snow plan today.” Which surely caused unnecessary confusion for someone somewhere. I’m not complaining about not having a bus — I’m GLAD they cancelled the snow plan. I DO think it was unreasonable for them to send very mixed messages when most weather forecast called for little if any snow in DC proper.

          • oh2dc

            @ FridayGirl I’m on your side on this.

      • Right, but had we gotten 10″ of snow and WMATA *didn’t* have a moderate snow plan in place, you’d be complaining about that, too. Rants and Raves post starts at 9:30 am, folks.

        • anonymous

          Exactly. It’s a no-win for them. DC weathermen are terrible at predicting snow. WMATA announced a moderate snow plan to give people notice that the commute might be longer than normal. It’s better to announce it and cancel it (giving people more buses/options), then to not announce it and implement it at the last minute (giving people less buses/options).

          • ***

            Actually if you follow Capital Weather Gang, they are typically fairly accurate and detailed in their forecast. And common sense would say “hey there is going to be something other than clear skys and sunshine – the commute is going to take longer” because let’s face it, all it takes is a light rain and DC drivers lose all sense of sanity.

          • anonymous

            I follow Capital Weather Gang, but I disagree they are typically fairly accurate. I will admit that they were pretty much dead on with the last big storm, but those are easy to predict (very low bust potential). However, they messed up numerous storms last year where they predicted significant snowfall (5+ inches) and nothing happened (i.e., we got rain). As for this storm, they predicted a coating to 2 inches with a boom of 2-6 inches (25% chance) and a bust of no accumulation (25% chance). In other words, there was an equal chance that we would get 6 inches as we would get no snow. We ended up getting none, but how can you fault WMATA for expecting something when your beloved Captial Weather Gang gave a 75% chance of something sticking?

          • wdc

            I completely agree. No-win situation.
            If WMATA took in 30 orphaned puppies, the internet would be bleating about the 200 they left languishing at the pound.

        • ***

          Then they could have announced that WHEN we got 10″ of snow. Instead they took the Chicken Little approach and then, as the original poster mentioned, didn’t follow through on updating their system. All the bus stops still said they were on Moderate Snow Plan, so if you were relying on the announcements at the bus stop, you would have been getting incorrect information.

        • FridayGirl

          But if we had gotten 10″ of snow… or even 3″ it would have been obvious this morning around when OPM made the call. WMATA cancelled the snow plan at 4am. Why couldn’t they have just declared the snow plan at 4am if it was needed? In the 3 years I’ve taken the bus, they have never called it the day before — they always call it in the morning before everyone wakes up.

          • anonymous

            Didn’t they called it the day before (and multipe days out) for the last storm…

          • FridayGirl

            But that has been the only time and every single weather channel had been calling for 12″+ for a WEEK beforehand. A WEEK! That was different than a couple hour period that *might* drop a coating of snow.

        • jf

          Seriously can’t win. If your method of transportation is the bus and you knew the bus was operating under a snow plan due to an impending storm but you woke up to no snow at all, wouldn’t common sense tell you to maybe check their website to confirm the plan hadn’t changed? It’s in bright red on the home page….

          • ***

            The issue was that the communication about the change was not consistent. The website said one thing, the stops said something else. Also, my experience last time was that even during Moderate Snow Plan, the information provided by WMATA about detours was not accurate – buses were running on detours that were not indicated to be doing so or not running at all.

    • textdoc

      The problem isn’t that they declared a Moderate Snow Plan and then cancelled it. The problem was that they didn’t update whatever system controls the announcements at bus stops.

      • FridayGirl

        Thank you, textdoc. That was the main point I failed to properly verbalize.

      • RD

        Who is relying on the electronic boards at the bus stops? Every time I look at one – they are very very wrong.

        • FridayGirl

          Oh, mine are almost always correct. I guess it depends on the bus?

        • ***

          They get the same feed as DC Next Bus. WMATA is very strict about only allowing the bus tracking information to come from their source I believe – I think some of the apps have complained that WMATA would not allow them to access their tracking system.

    • It’s just me

      While they completely messed up by not updating the electronic boards, I’d prefer to know the night before that my commute might be affected by detours, rather than waiting until the morning of. That way I can plan to wake up earlier to get to the revised bus stop. But I can see how other people would feel differently. Even if they had updated the electronic boards, some people would not have looked at the news or the website before leaving their homes, so they’d have gone to the wrongs stop. I think it is why metro can’t win.

      • ***

        To each their own. I was pissed when at 4pm yesterday they made the announcement because for me it means having to walk a mile out of my way to catch a different bus that takes twice as long to get to work. I ended up schlepping work home because with “moderate snow plan” I might as well work from home because a 90+ minute commute to travel 4 miles is not worth it.

  • AMDCer

    I should have checked this morning. Thought about it briefly, but then figured that they probably wouldn’t change it once they put it in place. Oh well, I treated myself to an Uber rather than walk, since the bus route that I usually take in inclement weather doesn’t run at all when they enact the plan.

  • EckingtonDoodle

    looking at this from another perspective…

    WMATA: “I’m gonna give you $5 tomorrow morning.”

    WMATA: “G’Morning, I changed my mind I’m gonna give you $10!”

    Commuter: “Why would you do that? I was expecting $5. Now I have extra dollars! What am I gonna do? This messes up my entire day! I’m all sorts of confused! How DARE you give me extra dollars!!!”

    • FridayGirl

      I think it was a little more like:
      WMATA: “I’m going to give you $5 tomorrow morning.”
      WMATA: “Good morning, you get $10 and you get $5 and I don’t know about you over there…”
      That was more the message across their systems.


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