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Metro Still Has Elevator and Escalator Problems

There has been a smattering of stories all summer about different metro transportation stations having some serious issues keeping elevators up and running. Here’s a quick rundown of a few such stories:

– During the summer, there was a baby blackout in Toronto that affected 400,000 people. Of course, a number of rescue crews were dispatched to elevators with people trapped inside.

– New York City’s Subway Service experienced a number of elevator and escalator malfunctions due to the reduced number of power sources for the stations to use.

– Washington D.C.’s Metro system experienced catastrophic amounts of escalator and elevator use that made for long lines and extremely difficult situations for handicapped and special needs riders.

So, now that it’s the fall, has anything changed for subway rider? One column from Greater Greater Washington says that an audit recently showed that D.C.’s metro system still isn’t up to snuff with what riders need. The authors do ask an important question though: “What level of availability should riders reasonably expect once these maintenance procedures are fixed?”

The answer: “1 out of 14 escalators out of service may be a significant shift in expectations for riders. And the target for elevator availability would actually mean Metrorail availability of 90% for riders with wheelchairs and strollers, since each trip requires 4 elevators and these riders can’t take escalators or stairs.”

As for right now, the other two problem areas for elevators and escalators in Toronto and New York aren’t experiencing the same problems that they were during the scorching summer heat wave, so why is D.C. still having these issues?

What do you think? Are the targets set by the D.C. Metro high enough for those who must use these transportation systems? Should there be a massive overhaul?

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