Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Noisier Metro?

The Washington Post reports on Metro's latest scheme:

Under a proposal to be presented today, managers are asking the Metro board to entertain the idea of entertainment in stations, which has been banned since Metrorail opened 30 years ago.

The second-busiest subway system in the country is one of the few that prohibit music and other types of entertainment inside stations. And it means it. Repeat offenders are subject to a maximum punishment of a $100 fine and 10 days in jail.


In the latest of several "customer-first" initiatives, Metro's interim general manager, Dan Tangherlini, thinks entertainment could make the ridership experience "more fun or interesting or peaceful" as the system gets more crowded. Ridership on Tuesday, with a Washington Nationals game at RFK Stadium, was 786,843 trips, the sixth highest ever.

No, it will make it more disruptive, noisier, and more crowded. Hopefully the hyperactive interim general manager will be replaced with a (different) permanent general manager soon.

People don't like the same music, and they shouldn't be forced to listen. Metro bureaucrats are losing focus on their real jobs:

Metro has tried to bring music to the underground before. But the proposal mostly ran into deaf ears. "It just fell off the radar screen," recalled board Chairman Gladys Mack, who represents the District. Mack, who is fond of Broadway show tunes, said it might be time to consider new ideas.

"We have been extra cautious about introducing anything other than things purely related to transit," she said. "We have a board now that is willing to listen and a general manager who brings us fresh ideas to try."

They should be extra cautious, it's the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, not the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit and Noisy Street Performer Authority.

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