Subscribe to this blog

Web This Blog

Thursday, November 02, 2006


MTA's Subway Station Neglects

The MTA subway system has now existed for more than ten years. More than ten years, and there are still basic, easily fixable problems unresolved. One of them is, as said in the past, the lack of scheduling information. And it's not just a lack that emerges only after a longwinded cynical analysis, but it's a striking one: Not only are there no time-tables at Metro stations, but there are also no announcements telling about upcoming trains. And not just that, but there aren't even any hints!
While the subway runs more consistent than the buses, and therefore can be relied upon better in general, this is still a perplexing problem. Without even knowing where to begin. The subway announcements are there, and can be implemented and afforded, but apparently not without providing irrelevant information. While as stated previously, MTA readily announces that people shouldn't walk or stand on the platform edges, not even once, do they announce when the next train is coming. And there are nor indicators whatsoever. And this is the information that most people want to know. The majority of transit riders don't care about the rules, because the majority of people don't break the rules, and the majority of people are already aware of these rules. Simply because they're posted everywhere. Apparently that's why MTA has decided to announce them aloud as well, over and over. It just reeks with incompetence.

About 3 weeks ago, I was waiting for the North Hollywood train at the Wilshire/Vermont Metro station. So did several others. As time went by, people started leaving the station, one by one. I thought they were just getting tired of waiting ad nauseum. Not did I know that there was no more train to come in actuality! The station was unsupervised, and all the people there waited in vain for a train that would never arrive. Great! And what was the MTA announcing in the speakers? "Attention all patrons, please do not walk or stand........." It's crazy. If they can announce that, which nobody is even paying attention to, they can't explain when the last train will depart? Or put up signs near entrances, so that passengers don't have to enter the stations after the last train departure to their destinations? Would it be rocket science to purchase some crayons and school sheets from a dollar store, and jot down the following before taping it up on the station walls:

To All Metro Riders

During Weekdays: The last train to North Hollywood will leave this station at XPM. The Last Train to Union Station will leave this station at XPM. The Last Train to Wilshire/Western will leave this station at XPM."

And do the same for weekends.

This is not rocketscience? Right. You don't even need to qualify for an "award" to realize the need.

So not only are train departures not indicated anywhere in general. But not even the last train arrivals are. It means people will keep coming into the stations in good faith, ten years into MTA's subway operation, believing they're on time for the next or last train. Only 40 min to 1 hour later, do they realize how hopeless it was. This absurdity defies wordy description.

And remember, as you're waiting in vain for the last train, that:
"You may not walk, stand or sit on the edges of the platform"...What a freakshow.
My dog could do better; and remember that some people are elderly, or handicapped, but are still left to "happily" wait for the last train which has already left. A crayon and a paper sheet, from a dollar store, could remedy the problem. It's not even a budget related issue, but one of sheer neglect. Sheer neglect. Meanwhile the MTA keeps bragging about being the best transit agency in the nation.

If Los Angeles' MTA is the "best" in the nation, my awe goes out to the transit riders in other cities. How do they make it?

I completely agree - I stayed in the 7th/Metro station for a half hour late at night, assuming there would be some sort of notice if the last train had departed. I naturally (but stupidly) thought that the train must be delayed. For those of us that don't carry a timetable schedule with us at all times, it is hard to remember the exact time the last train leaves.

Also, can we please get more benches in stations? The stairs have become the default seating areas and often have spilled drinks from those who sat there.
O no sir, I think you're asking for much. MTA's already the best in the nation. What else do you want?

Seriously, MTA is the service provider. It is their responsibility to make sure their customers "know" when the last train leaves. Any other entity would go out of business for this kind of incovenience.

The fact that you have to sit on the stairs, goes together with the other neglects. It sort of proves that MTA's concern for their customers is virtually devoid.

No you were not stupid to wait for that long. They were stupid for allowing you to wait.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?