Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This Morning's Aggravation Brought to You by Metro

U Street, 8:25 a.m.

I snapped this after standing on the platform for a minute or two. Predictably, the first train to pull in was packed. The operator closed the doors after a few passengers entered and then reminded us that another train was close behind. I managed to board the second train — about 15 minutes after I entered the station. Some passengers waiting at Shaw/Howard who were unable to board the first or second train experienced a wait of up to 18 to 20 minutes — in rush hour. I know that Metro has limited resources, and even the best train systems have delays at times. What seems odd to me is the delayed train followed by two subsequent trains only a few minutes apart.

After exiting at Gallery Place having missed my morning coffee date with Mr. 14th and You, I walked up to the sales office at Metro Center. Our two G-spot SmarTrips (we could only sometimes find the magic spot and wrist action to activate the gate) had finally died, and I decided to make the effort to replace one after months of procrastination. With three SmartTrips in our household, I had no idea which one I grabbed, other than it was a busted one. What I came to find out at the sales office is that my husband had registered the card. As he was living in Gaithersburg at the time of the purchase, and his address was different than the one on my driver's license, I could not replace the SmarTrip. However, had we shared the same last name (I made a conscious decision to not change my name after marriage) I could have replaced the card. Though I could name the registered card holder and his address while waving my wedding-banded finger at the window, I had no luck.

Mr. 14th and You will now have to go to Metro Center himself. Our other option, to mail the card in, is unacceptable; I have lost $30 in fare cards by mailing them in to Metro. I took a receipt for one of those farecards to Metro Center today. After waiting a year for reimbursement to arrive in the mail, I hoped that I could resolve the issue by bringing the Metro mailing envelope receipt to the sales office. If I had taken the de-magnetized card to Metro Center rather than mail it in, sales office staff would have replaced the card for me, so it seemed logical that the sales office could replace that card today. However, since I had mailed that card to Metro for replacement, the sales office can no longer help me; my fare card now falls under the jurisdiction of another office. Argh.

1 comment:

Mr. 14th & You said...

A pox on both their houses, I say.