This was not a good weekend for public transit in Washington be it streetcar, light-rail, or Metro.
Metro is Smokin’
Here is a summary of this weekend’s record, though I’m not sure I caught all of the incidents:
- Woodley Park evacuated after faulty brakes filled station with smoke;
- Foggy Bottom smoke blamed on “maintenance issue” resulted in deployment of firefighters;
- Smoke in L’Enfant Plaza after a Green Line train experienced a “mechanical issue.”
Fortunately, no one was hurt in these incidents. As usual, @unsuckdcmetro has absolutely the last word with his tweet: “Metro should vape instead.”
But the Streetcar is on Fire. Literally.
On Saturday, the DC streetcar and a car parked a foot from the curb had a close encounter. Think car mirror meets streetcar exterior and neither is better for the experience. Apparently, this was not its only collision that day.
But that turned out to be small beans compared to the fire on the DC streetcar. Still in its prolonged working out the kinks phase, the streetcar experienced an “unexplained” flash fire on top of the car.
Again, no one was injured.
Purple Line Repudiated by Guy who Named It
In a letter to the Gazette, the guy who named the Purple Line says the project is a mistake:
There are many problems with the Purple Line that give Mr. Hogan pause. It should have been part of Metro. A trip from one end to the other takes too long. It cost too much and its benefits are too small.
The most important cost, though, isn’t in dollars it would take from better transit projects, but the destruction of a priceless pedestrian/bicycle connection between Bethesda, Rock Creek Park and Silver Spring. Maryland and Montgomery transit officials have been obsessed with claiming the Georgetown Branch for their own, regardless of the lack of benefit and destruction it would cause.