Metrorail passengers board an Orange Line train at the L'Enfant Plaza station in southwest D.C. on June 6. PHOTO BY WILLIAM J. FORD
Metrorail passengers board an Orange Line train at the L'Enfant Plaza station in southwest D.C. on June 6. PHOTO BY WILLIAM J. FORD

Metrorail riders have grown weary over the many problems associated with the transportation agency, not the least being the lack of reliability and safety. In fact, ridership has declined by 11 percent in the last quarter with 15 million fewer trips recorded in the current fiscal year compared to one year ago.

And with the ongoing scheduled repairs under the auspices of the SafeTrack program that will result in even more delays for riders and therefore an increased level of frustration, chances are even more customers will seek other ways to get around the DMV – if they haven’t already.

Given the horrendous daily traffic jams and seemingly never ending rush hour, residents and visitors in the District, Virginia and Maryland would, on average, naturally prefer to travel via Metrorail instead of driving, or paying higher costs to services like Uber, Lyft or the local taxi services. But it’s hard to plan your day and it’s difficult to make sure you’ll arrive at your appointment or job, when you can’t count on the train arriving on time or not making unscheduled stops along the way.

Maybe in the future, if we’re lucky, commuters will be able to scoot along in their hover crafts in modes of transportation similar to those two-passenger vehicles on cartoons like The Jetsons. But those days have not arrived. We can’t “beam up” like Captain Kirk and his crew on Star Trek.

That means, if you can’t bicycle or walk to your destination, for now you’ll have to consider car services like Uber, drive if you’re fortunate enough to own an automobile, or tough it out and take Metrorail.

In a city as vital to America’s economy, businesses, political arena and entertainment industry, you’d think we would have a transit system that rivals those in cities like Chicago or New York.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

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D. Kevin McNeir – Senior Editor

Dominic Kevin McNeir is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of service for the Black Press (NNPA). Prior to moving East to assist his aging parents in their struggles with Alzheimer’s,...

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