Friday, July 23, 2010

"Board at your own risk"

Photo courtesy of WMATA
Something unique happened on my commute home, which is usually a bad thing, but not so much today.

When I boarded a Metro train at Union Station, the driver started warning passengers that the air conditioning was out in all six cars of the train and that it was a "hot train." She continued by warning that anyone with a medical condition should get off and wait for the next train.

Hot Metro cars are nothing new to me, but an entire train is and so were the warnings. Either this driver was seriously concerned about the welfare of her passengers or Metro may actually be getting serious about improving customer service. Hopefully, both.

But this was not the end of the warnings. She topped everything with "Board at your own risk," which I found  quite funny and refreshingly direct. The irony of a train driver urging passengers not to board her train was delicious. I don't even remember if she followed silly Metro practice of referring to the passengers as "customers," which has always annoyed me as a needlessly imprecise term.

If I'd been going a longer distance, I would have waited for the next train. Hot cars can be quite exhausting. Instead, I enjoyed watching the other travelers react to the driver's warnings as they boarded at each station.

If the driver came up with this routine on her own, she should be immediately promoted to management, which appears to need some clear thinkers.

Related Reading
Dr. Gridlock, "Miserable weather for Metro," Washington Post
Unsuck DC Metro blog

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