Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

'The Metro Swing' lets commuters sway their way through WMATA (video)

December 7, 2011 - 11:12 AM
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Swing on, riders. (Photo: Vimeo/WarrenZhang)

Is the Metro too boring? The grays, the escalators, the concrete everywhere ... It's a little drab.

A solution is here: "The Metro Swing." Watch this five-and-a-half minute video from Vimeo user Warren Zhang, an "amateur tosser and boorish raconteur extraordinaire, to see an extraordinarily unconventional use of our Metro trains. In the past I've seen some strange actions on the WMATA trains, from fights to escalator planking to Christmas carols, but nothing quite like this. In the video, a small group of young people have attached a swing in the middle of a Metro car on the Green Line. Big ropes have been rigged to the top of two Metro poles, and in the middle, a comfortable-looking wooden seat. The three young people on camera — Roger Curley, Kirsten Petersen, and Maia Werbos — invite other commuters to join them for a sit on the swing.

"Clearly there's nothing better to do on this train than to ride the swing!" Curley calls out as one of his friends tests the safety of the device.

Other commuters join in. "This is so much fun," one big guy in a white sports jersey admits.

Even a mother and her young daughter take a turn on the swing.

Perhaps the highlight is a woman in sunglasses who comes over to try the fun little set-up. "Ohhh, cool!" she laughs as she begins. "This is so cool. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire," she sings. "Wooo! Weeee! Jack Frost nippppping at your noooseee... Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Kwanza!"

At one point the people responsible discuss the safety precautions they've taken in setting up the swing. One of the women refers to getting a 2x4 and sanding the contraption and spraying it to ensure its good operation. They advise you begin swinging as the train begins accelerating to maximize the experience. The trains speed up to around 60 miles/hour, so I imagine there's good swinging potential here. Why sit when you can swing?

WMATA surely doesn't endorse this behavior on their trains but I can't help but sharing this unconventional and fun video. Hat tip to the local D.C. Reddit, where I first glimpsed this gem.

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