Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

D.C. Metro's struggle to communicate 'a deterioration of service'

March 5, 2012 - 02:01 PM
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(Photo: John Hendel)

A self-described "collective" of Corcoran College of Art and Design New Media and Photojournalism students have created a new video about Metro communications. Starring are some popular Metro personalities: WMATA spokesperson Dan Stessel, Ben Schumin of The Schumin Web, and Chris Barnes of flame-throwing FixWMATA.

At the heart of the video is the question — how can Metro meaningfully communicate a crumbling level of service not likely to improve any time soon? WMATA is correct to embark on its extensive six-year $5-billion repairs but the repairs themselves cause delay. People see bizarrely long repair times (Dupont Circle escalators: 8+ months!) and hear the word contractor ($50+ million!) and interpret failure. Stessel's challenge has been to articulate WMATA's mission with his growing team, yet some aren't convinced. The team has, despite advances, stumbled here and there beyond the mechanical dysfunction of the rails.

WMATA may now have 25,000 Twitter followers and be attempting new and offbeat innovative strategies but some aren't convinced, especially when they consider the state of their commutes. Stessel himself notes the age of the transit system and a marked "deterioration of service." See some prominent voices weigh in:

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