Chris has mentioned the computer parts that he has bought. I'm excited because I get to build the thing and I designed it. Seeing as how Chris uses a lot of hard drive space that was the first place I started. My solution to his problems of having to delete things? 1.5 Terrabyte harddrive. 1500 gigabytes. Good lord. If anyone wants the full list of parts, just ask and I'll be happy to provide. But thats not what I'm writing about today. Today, I've decided to rant about Metro. I don't know about you, but I ride the bus and the metro every day on my way to work. Its not really all that bad and I generally don't mind, but there are a few things that really bother me about Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and you and I are going to spend the next couple hundred words discussing these things. So please stand clear of the doors.
1. The 30 bus route:
Okay, if you've ever been fucked over because the 30 bus has refused to come, please raise your hand. So thats everyone. Good to know. Currently WMATA is actually holding community meetings to see what people think can be done to improve the 30 route because it partially isn't their fault that the buses are always late. I've almost stopped looking at the bus schedule because its pretty much useless. It will say the next bus arrives at 850, when in fact the 850 bus will never come and you'll have to wait for the 910 bus. Or later. Catching a 30 bus is essentially a crap shoot and they need to fix that shit. The problem with the route? Georgetown. Lets be honest here, Georgetown is completely overrated as an area of DC to visit. Its crowded, its hard to get into and nearly impossible to get out of. Oh, that and they charge you an arm and a leg to buy anything. So now you're getting jostled, you can't leave, and you're missing a couple of limbs. Fan-fucking-tastic. And for some reason, the geniuses over at WMATA decided to have all 30 buses go right through the middle of this swollen pustule of elitism. So your bus will actually make pretty good time right until you hit that clusterfuck. My solution? Have a bus that stops at the beginning of Georgetown, a seperate bus for Georgetown, and then a third bus for after Georgetown. It might not work and it might not be feasible but do you have any better ideas? I didn't think so.
2. Bus configurations:
Everyone in this city rides Metro. Not everyone rides the buses. So for those of you who don't, let me first explain to you that WMATA has at least 5 different bus configurations. At least about 5 that I've ridden on. And for the life of me, I can't understand who actually said to themselves that 3 of them are workable. The goal of any bus should be to cram as many people as humanly possible onto them. 3 of those bus configurations just do not work. The configuration that I am most familiar with is the 30' long bus. It comes around my neighborhood all the time. There are only about 4 forward looking seats, the rest of the room being taken up by seats that look into the aisle. This completely confuses me because this actually restricts the number of available seats. Why the fuck are you doing this? Its stupid. Another bus configuration that I hate was one I rode this morning. Its a 40 footer and has a raised step about halfway back and once again has about 5 forward looking seats. Why the raised step? In what world does that make sense? And why are the forward looking seats so close together that they hurt my knees? Its obviously brand new, because the damn thing still smelled like new plastic, so I would like to meet the moron who bought this thing and then give him a swift kick to the nuts. There's a similar config that has a raised platform towards the back but its obviously not new. The similar config I actually don't mind because it somehow manages to cram a lot more seating onto the bus. I will say this for the raised platform buses. They are lower to the ground so people who are unable to walk or have trouble walking have an easier time getting on the bus. Maybe thats the point. Finally, there's my favorite bus configuration, and thats the 40' long bus that has like 20 forward looking seats. Look at that! Maximum seating arrangement! Why don't we have more of these? Every time I see one of those buses coming I'm always a little happy because goddammit I can probably get a seat. Yay! There's also the short bus, but well, its a short bus so it doesn't deserve my attention. Moving on!
3. People who are obsessed with getting a seat:
Now I know I like to get a seat on the bus. But sometimes, there isn't any seating so you have to stand. Thats fine. I don't mind that. But some people will get on the bus, and they'll spy a seat aaaaaaaaall the way in the back and they decide they want to sit in it. Nevermind the fact that there are 40 people standing in the aisle who just got off work and have bags and whatnot. They keep moving back jostling everyone on the damn bus. You may feel like you've been violated as someone has to shift in an uncomfortable way to let that one asshole by but really, you're all victims of one motherfucker who won't stand up for 10 damn minutes. I hate that guy.
4. People who still pay with cash:
Alright readers, Metro has this great thing called a "SmarTrip" card. Its plastic, about the size of a credit card, and can be used on all buses and at all stations and you don't even need cash! Use it. Here it is for those of you who don't know.
The people who get on and then pay in cash are neanderthals and slow everything up. And you just know that in a group of 10 people trying to get on the bus, at least 4 are going to pay in cash and then there's that one douchebag who uses all nickles. I recently saw a plan in the Washington Post about upping rates for Metro and I'm actually okay with this because they were really going to gouge the people who still use cash. I'm in favor of gouging them because then maybe they'll learn to join the rest of us in the 21st century. If you don't have one, go here, or else or I will find you and I will stab you.
5. People who take pictures of the escalators:
Seriously, why? Its a fucking escalator. Have you been into a retail store in the past 20 years? They have them there too. They also look nicer. Usually, this is tourists who are taking pictures of the escalators but its also sometimes someone who fancies themselves an artist or a photographer who thinks he's getting a 'great shot.' Its an escalator goddammit! We all know what one looks like. Its steps that move! Its not sorcery! They stand there, and get in people's way and when its 9 in the morning and I'm going to work the last thing I want is a flash bulb going off somewhere. Plus, I have to admit, with the climate of fear that we are forced to live in I sometimes wonder why people are taking pictures of the entrance to a mass transit station. I even once saw a woman report people to Metro security for taking pictures because she thought they might be terrorists. I'm not even making that up. Thats the truly scary part.
6. People who can't figure out how to work the turnstile:
Alright, now this one isn't hard. It shows you how to put it in, the paper card (which you shouldn't be using in the first place) has an arrow on it, and there's a little read out that tells you whats going on. Where's the mystery? Do I really have to stand behind you as you try this 5 different times before you figure out its actually a Burger King fry container you're trying to use? There are signs everywhere telling you how to use Metro and you still can't manage it? I know some really really REALLY stupid people and they manage Metro just fine. If a chimp can do it, why can't you? Hm? Answer me that. What? You mean its not working? What about the little display that tells you to see the station manager? Here's a thought... see the fucking station manager! If you would get your head out of your ass long enough to read the shit about you, you might actually figure out why you can't get in! I hate you! Get out of my way so I can fucking go to work!
And thank you for riding Metro.