Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Archive for February 2012

More Zipcar-funded research has more good news for Zipcar

March 1, 2012 - 11:07 AM
(Photo: flickr/crchmidt)

In more research commissioned by global car-sharing giant Zipcar, KRC Research has measured the 36 biggest American cities in the categories of sustainability, innovation, vibrancy, efficiency and livability and came up with what it's calling the Future Metropolis Index. D.C., for what it's worth, performed well in the rankings.

• Efficiency: #1 (due to highest proportion of commuters using public transit)
• Most livable/optimistic: #24
• Vibrant/creative: #3
• Innovative: #4
• Sustainable: #7
• Overall index: #3

Two Zipcar PR people happily brought the new research to my attention this week. But what to make of such ratings? BostInno has already rightly questioned how these categories were assessed. What pushes Zipcar, founded in 2000 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to fund such research? This report is hardly the first to come out of Zipcar corridors. I asked Jessica Margolis-Pineo, a recent public relations hire at Zipcar, about the motivations and implications of its research.

"While we like to think that our [Zipcar's] presence in eight of the top 10 overall cities (in our Future Metro Index) may have had some impact on their scores, we were also curious to see how other cities ranked and where their room for growth lies," Margolis-Pineo wrote. "We used an independent research firm to conduct these studies (including the Future Metropolis Index and our annual Millennial study) as part of our marketing efforts for the Zipcar brand."

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Car2Go officially launches 'free-floating' car-sharing in D.C. on March 24

February 29, 2012 - 04:59 PM
Here rolls urban mobility? (Photo: Courtesy of Daimler)

Car2Go, the Daimler car-sharing service, is officially launching in D.C. and will begin service on March 24 with a fleet of approximately 200 vehicles, 20 times larger than the fleet Herz On Demand debuted with earlier this month and about a fourth of the size of Zipcar's fleet accumulated over the past decade. Both Hertz On Demand and Car2Go join Zipcar to provide car-sharing services in the District.

I noticed this morning that @Car2GoDC began following about 600 followers seemingly overnight on Twitter. By this afternoon, the number rose to more than 900. Why might that be? I sent Car2Go spokesperson Katie Stafford a note asking what was up. Sure enough, this afternoon she told me that it's official. Car2Go, its U.S. operations based in Austin, Texas, has successfully finished negotiating operational details with the District Department of Transportation and will launch formally in a matter of weeks. You may have already seen some of their cars out on the street not long ago as part of testing.

"On behalf of car2go, I'm pleased to announce we are launching an entirely new way of car-sharing in Washington, D.C." Stafford told me.

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Both WMATA and its riders craft new tools to track the system

February 29, 2012 - 10:38 AM
(Photo: flickr/beve4)

Don't look any further than your browser or smartphone for a panoply of new tools to track Metrorail and bus, D.C. riders. Three new ones have emerged in the last few days.

First, Metro released its new alerts system late yesterday. Chief spokesperson Dan Stessel has alluded to these new alerts for months with excitement and told me earlier in February that "the heavy lifting is done" and the agency had entered its testing phase. Now, as of Feb. 28, MetroAlerts is officially here, with a bright blue logo splashed onto the WMATA homepage, and promises better alerts for both Metro and bus. "For the first time, bus riders can get emails and text messages alerting them to detours, schedule changes, delays and other service information," Metro GM Richard Sarles notes in the announcement. The system works in tandem with NextBus and provides e-mail and shorter text alerts, a first for District bus riders (although only Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.). The distinction between alerts and advisories is that advisories are longer; previously Metrorail alerts have been limited to 140 characters. Riders also can customize what alerts they receive.

"You can select four favorite stations," Stessel told me when first explaining the system a couple weeks back.

Good gesture, although I'm curious how smoothly the alerts will run. Sign up here and test it out. But MetroAlerts is hardly the only innovation WMATA attempted in the last few days.

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Photographers shouldn't have to defend legal Metro photos to WMATA

February 28, 2012 - 01:44 PM
Snap that picture. (Photo: Joshua Yospyn)

Is it legal to take photos on the Metro? Of course. But a persistent, troubling lie that's floated throughout our transit for years is this idea that you can't. Both riders and WMATA employees have expressed this belief. Look to Flickr, DCist, and countless news publications for evidence of photography's legality. WMATA explicitly states it doesn't regulate still photography that "does not require a tripod, special lighting, film crews, models," assuming it doesn't hurt WMATA's operations. In other words, casual photography is — or should be — perfectly legal.

If only reality backed up those laws. Photographer Pablo Benavente ran into trouble at the Archive-Navy Metro station on the morning of Feb. 23. He was setting up certain photographs in front of an oncoming Metro train. The Metro train operator apparently lowered his window and according to Benavente, "started yelling at me, and telling me that I can't take photos like that, that he didn't know what I was doing and that taking photos there is against the law."

"You can't take photos like that," the WMATA operator called out. 

"Yes, I can," Benavente insisted.

The operator continued to tell the photographer that his work was illegal as Benavente insisted he acted lawfully. The WMATA worker eventually closed the train window and moved the train up so riders could board. Benavente told me that he hasn't experienced this problem before. 

Yet other photographers have run into the same problem, haphazardly, over recent months and years. On Feb. 19, for instance, another photographer described how Transit Police stopped him for taking photos at the Dupont Circle station.

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Noxious hot dog rots on D.C. Metro platform

February 28, 2012 - 09:31 AM
Jesus Christ. Look at this. (Photo: flickr/brownpau)

Ballston Metro, what the hell.

One of our city's many Metro riders found perhaps the best evidence to support the WMATA ban on food and drink in the transit system. Paulo Ordoveza provided the above photograph of a hot dog sitting on the Ballston platform, where countless Orange Line trains pass daily, on Feb. 21. He stumbled upon this monstrosity on the Vienna-bound platform. A gross, ancient hot dog, accumulating bacteria and rot and disdain and smells and any number of indictments against humanity for what it — and its presence among our transit — represents.

God help us, D.C. Look what we're doing!

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The grim stakes in our federal transportation bill (video)

February 28, 2012 - 08:29 AM
(Photo: flickr/indydinawithmrwonderful)

When D.C. videographer Jay Mallin imagines the transportation bill making its way through Congress, he sees the losses. Mallin takes the national transportation issues at stake and applies a local lens to how the funding will change, from bridges to walking to bicycling to the Safe Routes to School program, in his new four-minute video "Get A Car." The car dominates the landscape, he says, and the message of the bill as it exists is the House of Representatives is to saddle up the automobile. Our infrastructure supports car-owners, Mallin alleges, and he grimly brings up hit-and-runs that happen as a result of dangerous auto-centric transportation.

"It’s the worst transportation bill I’ve ever seen during 35 years of public service," U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood told Politico earlier this month.

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D.C. Metro riders, here are your demographics

February 27, 2012 - 02:00 PM
(Photo: Jay Westcott)

Who rides the Metro? The average age: 48. The gender breakdown: 53% female, 47% male. And then there's other factors — place of residence, car ownership, and more.

We've talked about these breakdowns before, but images trump words, and the creators of the new "Metro Master" iPhone app released last week have designed an infographic spotlighting much of the public data available about our city's Metro riders. It's a marketing stunt, obviously, to help them sell their new app but it's still great to have a visual representation of WMATA's ridership statistics. One bit of data that stands out to me is the fact that the average Metro rider has lived in D.C. for more than 14 years ... not quite so transient, after all. 

Let your eyes feast on the data:

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The most dangerous traffic intersections near the 14th Street Bridge

February 27, 2012 - 12:51 PM
(Photo: FHA)

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration has released its Environmental Impact Statement draft and among its many fascinating components is a listing of the accidents throughout the 14th Street Bridge corridor in both D.C. and Northern Virginia. This wide swathe of land includes many notable locations in both territories, from the National Mall to much of Arlington. The accidents were analyzed from January 2003 to August 2006, which is hardly recent but still points to many intersections fraught with vulnerability now.

Here's the most dangerous intersections, based on estimated severity rate:

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The worst intersection is Washington, D.C.'s South Capitol and I Street:

South Capitol Street/I Street not only had the highest total number of accidents (80) but also the highest accident severity rating (139) of any intersection within the study area. Overall, the I- 395/VA 27 merge area had the highest severity rating (153).

What also stands out to me is where Independence Avenue connects with 14th Street. The percent of accidents that involve pedestrians and bicycles is 24%, drastically higher than any of the other dangerous intersections.

See the rest of the government's analysis of existing traffic conditions in the corridor here, including two big maps showing the dangerous intersections.

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The Courthouse Metro station hosts a rider's haunting song

February 27, 2012 - 10:39 AM

You've heard the tale of Joshua Bell playing classical violin at a Metro station, which illustrated that our transit is no stranger to beautiful music even if riders often pass it by. Now hear the striking sounds of another young man's singing.

One WMATA rider made a joyful noise not long ago on a D.C. Metro station. Over the weekend the following video emerged from what appears to be the Courthouse station in Arlington, Northern Virginia. The singer stands in place alone in the tunnel leading down to the platform and needs no accompanying instruments. His natural pipes are music enough. But beware, singer — that bottle of water visible in your jacket is forbidden in the Metro system. Hear a short clip of the haunting voice echo through the Metro chambers here:

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Why the District DMV needs more than a dozen iPads

February 27, 2012 - 09:21 AM
(Photo: flickr/glennfleishman)

Apple sold its first iPads in April of 2010 and counts more than 50 million sales since. Now, less than two years later, the District DMV lends out 16 iPads to its employees. How did this piece of tablet technology come to be integrated into a monolith like the DMV so quickly? The consumer price for the iPad 2 starts at a cool $499, and last year Steve Jobs said, "People laughed at us for using the word 'magical,' but, you know what, it's turned out to be magical."

It's so magical that even an entity as frustratingly complicated as the DMV integrated 16 into their 2011 operations. Out of an overall DMV budget of $39.7 million, the iPad's value was deemed important.

The agency gives out far more equipment than just iPads, of course. Like many agencies, the DMV understands its employees need the right technological tools. The DMV gives out a few dozen phones as well as laptops (but fewer laptops than iPads — just four).

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Arlington is developing a six-year plan for Capital Bikeshare

February 24, 2012 - 12:00 PM
(Photo: flickr/SLOCountyBicycleCoalition)

Arlington has realized that Capital Bikeshare needs a longer term strategy and is crafting a six-year Capital Bikeshare Transit Development Plan to help tackle the expansion of the biking network throughout the region.

"As far as we know, it's the first strategic bikeshare plan in the nation," remarked Chris Hamilton, Arlington County Commuter Services Bureau Chief, as we sat at one of his Rosslyn office's conference tables and stared at the draft plan as well as a copy of the presentation he gave to the Transit Advisory Committee and the Transportation Commission on Tuesday and Thursday.

Hamilton guided me through the corridors past Bike Arlington, Walk Arlington, GoDCGo, the Arlington Transportation Partners, the Mobility Lab, and more in his empire of commuter amenities. Just that morning, Arlington transportation officials had met with Alexandria to discuss ways the southerly Northern Virginia county would market its own Capital Bikeshare stations that will debut this summer. The Capital Bikeshare service is approaching a year and a half old now, and it's time to get serious about sponsorships, expansion, and a real vision for what the service can mean to the region, especially as it hits 1.5 million trips and is increasingly a model for other cities and counties. One broader purpose of the plan is to establish the system's capital and operating costs in order to properly budget and determine funding needs.

Arlington began studying how to build a longer-term bikeshare strategy from October 2011 and beginning this February, plans a public outreach campaign through April, and hopes to draft a final plan by May, to be presented to the public in June. An online crowdsourcing site is tentatively planned for March 12 through April 13 and will provide "an online forum for Arlington residents to comment on each of the draft expansion scenarios." A general public meeting to present the final plan to the public is scheduled for June 27.

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D.C.'s streetcar debut may be 'a symbol of failure'

February 24, 2012 - 08:28 AM
(Photo: DDOT)

The D.C. streetcar is creaking toward its vaunted debut. Here's the problem — DDOT fumbled in procuring its new streetcars, and the fumble may impact the number of streetcars the system opens with if it sticks to its hyped mid-2013 launch date.

Yesterday's D.C. Council hearing on the streetcar provided a terrible window into how the proposed 37-mile system is coming along. Consider the language that D.C. Councilmembers used as they heard a progress report from Terry Bellamy, District Department of Transportation director. Councilmember Cheh says that the DDOT has appeared to be "muddling along" with developing the H Street/Benning Road line, the first of eight and primed for a mid-2013 launch, according to Mayor Vince Gray. She referred to "anxiety" that she and stakeholders she's talked with feel. "I'm worried we're moving at too slow a pace to put this in order," she remarked. Councilmember Tommy Wells says what he heard "undermines confidence" and that the issues raised were precisely those he feared and tried to keep from the press.

The D.C. government already possesses three streetcars for the H Street line and expected two more as part of the $8.7 million contract canceled in December. Initial scenarios imagined five or six streetcars as part of the  2.2-mile H Street line, which would have allowed for good, regular service. The city already made predictions about headway and fare costs at its big December 2011 press events. But DDOT's Bellamy appeared much less sure of any details this week. What will the headways be?

"At this time, we don't know the headways," Bellamy told the Council. "We've been saying between 10 and 15 minutes but actually we don't know yet."

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The sidewalk life of Anacostia means more than retail dollars

February 23, 2012 - 01:10 PM
(Photo: Google Maps)

A Feb. 19 Washington Post article explored the broader issue of how to bring retail to the parts of Southeast D.C. across the Anacostia River. One issue that a restaurant owner pointed to was the amount of pedestrian traffic:

Paul Cohn, who owns Georgia Brown’s, said he dropped the idea of opening a barbecue restaurant in Anacostia after parking on MLK Avenue for a couple of nights to measure the volume of pedestrian traffic, an important indicator of potential patrons. “The daytime demographic was fine, but at night it was just cars going by,” he said. “I didn’t feel it.”

Evening pedestrian life matters to businesses at night, yes, but I found myself thinking over its broader implications hours after I first read this Post article. Jane Jacobs, the iconic writer responsible for The Death and Life of Great American Cities a half century ago, emphasized the importance of pedestrian life to a community in more crucial ways.

To walk freely on the streets at night, Jacobs wrote, requires these "substantial quantity of stores and other public places sprinkled along the sidewalks of a district; enterprises and public places that are used by evening and night must be among them especially."

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D.C. pedicabs still struggle with evolving regulations and Park Police

February 23, 2012 - 11:11 AM
A transportation rogue? (Photo: flickr/joebielawa)

A D.C. pedicab operator was arrested for assaulting a Park Police officer last fall but he insists he's not guilty — and that his arrest is indicative of a far broader problem involving harassment and murky regulation haphazardly applied to the pedicabbing industry, a nascent form of transportation in the District. As spring and summer approach, Washington, D.C. still lacks a clear resolution regarding a past year of pedicab friction, but key officials recognize a need to come together soon.

"Mine was the third arrest of the year," the young man known as Oskar Mosco, legally Scott Myerson, told me when standing next to his lawyer Jeffrey Light in D.C. court chambers on Jan. 10. "At least a dozen pedicab operators have had citations. Both the arrests and citations are harassment."

Last week, the prosecution dismissed Mosco's case, and the pedicab operator says it's no surprise because there was no case to begin with. The legal actions simply represented more harassment, in his opinion. Mosco says that operators' citations have typically been contested and subsequently dropped. Last fall after his arrest, he helped start the D.C. Pedicab Operators Association, which now has 19 dues-paying members but expects more soon. They joined together, according to Mosco, to create a unified voice of pedicab operators against a tense front of unclear regulations and alleged conflict with the Park Police. They talk every couple weeks or so, often by phone, but expect to communicate more and in person once the weather warms and pedicab season begins in earnest. "We want to be included in this new transportation plan on the Mall," said Aaron Stanley, a 26-year-old part-time pedicabber and Financial Times's D.C. bureau manager, who has joined the nascent organization. Pedicabs have emerged as a major form of transportation for the District's tourists over the last half decade, especially in hot spots like the National Mall. Mosco expects the association will meet with both DDOT and NPS in the near future.

"I'd say 95% of our conversations are about Park Police and regulations," Mosco said in January. "The reality is we haven't met, we haven't talked about anything."

Both NPS and DDOT have told me they plan to meet with pedicab operators in 2012 before the new season takes off. Mosco criticizes how the city handled the regulations issued last summer by the District Department of Transportation and finalized in December. He says the comment period happened during cold weather when no pedicab operator knew or paid attention. Yet these DDOT regulations don't even matter in most of the conflicts with Park Police — all the contention on the National Mall involves the National Park Service, not DDOT. The city says it has met with pedicab operators in the past and plans to meet with them again in 2012.

"We do want to meet with them again," DDOT's Alice Kelly told me last month. "We will include everyone."

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D.C. Metro grapples with how to talk and confront sexual harassment

February 23, 2012 - 09:30 AM
(Photo: flickr/daquellamanera)

Two and a half hours after they expected to testify, several individuals finally had the chance to tell the D.C. Council yesterday that sexual harassment is a problem on the Metro and allege that WMATA is not doing nearly enough to manage the way riders travel through their space.

"At the Takoma Metro station, a man walked in," said Chai Shenoy, Collective Action for Safe Spaces executive director, about the 2008 incident that caused her to found the grassroots organization. "He kept looking at me while figuring out where to sit .... Slowly he spread his legs and exposed himself to me."

Shenoy said she felt frustrated and ashamed later but most of all, guilty she hadn't known how to stop the man from harassing others. The Collective Action for Safe Spaces (also known as Holla Back D.C.) says that 30% of the sexual harassment incidents that it has tracked over the past three years take place near or within transit centers. Shenoy and others demanded this week that Metro step up its actions against sexual harassment — the transit agency should launch on a PR campaign, implement a better tracking system for these myriad forms of harassment, and begin better employee training.

WMATA does track sexual assaults and physical confrontations. Out of more than 300 million trips last year, Metro reported one rape, 41 sexual assaults, and 40 incidents of indecent exposure ... but who knows about verbal harassment. WMATA doesn't track those.

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(Photo: D.C. Council)

The dialogue surrounding harassment is extraordinarily sensitive and for good reason. In the last week, we've already seen members of the media as well as WMATA called out for how they talk about the behavior. Metro's chief spokesperson, Dan Stessel, faced heat for how he described the transit system's sexual harassment in a WUSA report:

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Let WMATA hear your frustrations about the Metro budget and fare hikes

February 22, 2012 - 12:03 PM
(Photo: WMATA)

Metro has launched a new survey asking riders to assess the system and weigh in on the fare increases, a move in tandem with six different town halls happening at the end of this month and in early March.

WMATA is begging for your thoughts, D.C. riders. The transit agency is struggling through its many repairs all while trying to plan for changes like new alerts, a new Metro map, and the rush hour revolution that is "Rush Plus." The Metro officials are also facing a crunched budget, news of employee theft, and possibly a loss of federal funds if the president's budget goes into effect. How to communicate that to riders?

The real question many riders may now face — how seriously will WMATA take the feedback? Is all this outreach for show or will it really go to inform the strategies and decisions inside the halls of the Jackson Graham headquarters?

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Here are the most popular driver's license plates of 2011

February 22, 2012 - 10:00 AM
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles issued 113,259 tags to District drivers in the fiscal year of 2011. But not all tags are created equal. Some license plates manage to convey personality and spark. Some note the driver's disability, some note colleges and fraternities, some mark other affiliations. The DMV revealed the full breakdown of its tags in responses to the D.C. Council from earlier this month, and I'd like to share that breakdown with On Foot's readers.

The results are intriguing in spots. It's no surprise, perhaps, that the DMV issued 25 fire fighter tags, more than 240 disability tags, or 1,231 motorcycle tags. But look at the more unusual entries out there. As the DMV website states, you can create any number of specialty license plates, sometimes for extra fees. Many people like to wear their identities on their very cars, and the license plate can be the perfect form of expression. Who was the sole person who elected to have a National Association of Black Scuba Divers license plate? What of the one person who wanted a Bad Boys Club tag? Eight people want their plates to alert other drivers that they're part of the Porsche Club of America. I like to see that more than 300 D.C. drivers chose to bear Anacostia River Commemorative tags.

See the full listing of 2011 plates here, from the number of limousine tags to the number of clergy tags to the number of Masons tags, courtesy of the DMV:

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The Silver Line Metro needs station names

February 21, 2012 - 11:29 AM
The Silver Line will stretch west. (Photo: WMATA)

Metro wants to know what to call eight new stations on the proposed Silver Line, which will extend the Metrorail out to Dulles. Floris? Innovation? Herndon? Metro station names have occupied plenty of WMATA time in the past, and we'll see plenty more discussion in the future. "Metro and Fairfax County would like your opinion on proposed names for the eight Silver Line stations in Fairfax County," a new survey begins. WMATA will maintain the survey until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21 and says it wants evocative station names under 19 characters long.

Share your thoughts over at the official WMATA survey.

Just don't let the Virginia stakeholders add too many suffixes to the name. We've already seen a vision of what happens to the Metro map when marketing runs amuck.

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New 'Metro Master' iPhone app promises an easier WMATA ride

February 21, 2012 - 10:45 AM
The smart way to ride? (Photo: Courtesy of Metro Master)

Two recent graduates of George Washington University concluded last year that our vast Metrorail system needed a new smartphone app. How to navigate this sprawling WMATA mess? How to know what rail cars would be less crowded and when would new trains arrive? Let's bring on the data, they said, and craft a new, comprehensive iPhone app to help riders. And let's throw in some trivia and a digital map for good measure.

On Feb. 20, David Glidden and Andrew Thal officially unveiled their new Metro Master app, available in the iTunes App Store and priced at $2.99. They spent more than 30 hours riding the rails over the course of four months to collect their WMATA data — a project that arose from chats during a Nationals baseball game last July in which Glidden realized there was no suitable app out there for traveling the Metro. They estimate that the eight months of preparation, from idea conception to app publication yesterday, amounted to about $250. No wonder. They've calculated more than 2,746 route combinations and reveal some of the sketches and diagrams involved on their website. They traveled to all 86 Metro stations and traveled all five line to gather their transit wisdom. Metro Master's tagline: "The best app for navigating the D.C. Metro."

I reached out to Glidden and Thal with a few questions about their new app, ready now for anyone with an iPhone or iPod Touch (they're hoping to expand the app to the Android soon). Here's what the two young Metro Masters had to say about their app and our complicated Metro system:

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(Photo: Metro Master)

TBD On Foot: Your new app seems to have taken an enormous amount of time to research and create. What kept you going throughout all that?

Glidden and Thal: It was definitely a lot of Metro riding (check out the Rider's Log if you haven't already) and we quickly realized that it would be much more efficient to collect data during rush hour so we wouldn't have to wait 20 minutes in between at every station! But really what kept us going was our excitement that this would be something people would use and enjoy. We both are entrepreneurial and tech geeks at heart (especially Andrew), and this project allowed us to fulfill those aspects of our lives.

On Foot: How much have you taken the Metro yourself? What's your own commute like?

We use the Metro pretty much every day. Andrew commutes to work on the Metro getting on at Rosslyn, one of the busiest stations during rush hour. David uses Metrobus to get to work, and he uses the Metro to get to other places in the city that aren't a part of his daily commute. David is frequently in the Dupont area, so he has had to adapt to the fact that there is only one entrance to Dupont for the next few months.

On Foot: I notice you're both recent GWU grads. Tell me, how've the new escalators been working out for you at Foggy Bottom? I'm curious to know your reaction to the station in general. I used to take it regularly and recall some of the long lines that snaked out down the street...

During much of the time in the fall when David was collecting data, he would start his journey from Foggy Bottom since he works there. The long lines were definitely a frustration but the new escalators are nice and the new overhang is looking great as well. Currently neither of us live there, so we don't use the station as much as we used to and haven’t experienced the long lines that frequently.

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Hail to the D.C. UBERcade

February 21, 2012 - 09:29 AM
(Photo: Uber)

Uber, a new tech-savvy luxury car service that launched in D.C. late last year, is a master at grabbing attention. The company's latest stunt was pegged to President's Day yesterday and involved what its staff have called an "UBERcade."

"Monday is your chance to feel just as baller as Barack, rolling around town in your very own Uber motorcade: the UBERcade!" the company wrote on its D.C. Tumblr. "A few lucky riders may get a ride in the UBERcade, featuring three Uber Secret Service agents and two Suburbans flanking a sleek black town car. We can’t clear traffic, and we may not have tear gas, bulletproof armor, or a backup oxygen system in the trunk like B.O. does, but we guarantee that this Monday you’re going to turn some heads as you roll through town in your UBERcade."

What a bizarre yet killer marketing move. The promotion is full of personality and reminds me of the company's other unusual gestures, such as the national "Ubers from Last Night" campaign. When DCist editor-in-chief Martin Austermuhle noted the Uber idea yesterday in his evening news round-up, he suggested the company was "pushing it a little." Are they? See for yourself in the UBERcade video below:

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