Small ideas can make Metro greater.

Express Yourself!

When one train get backed up, the trains behind them become backed up as well. Trains should be able to go express and skip stations to relieve the back-up and get back on schedule.

Because each train line only operates on one track, if one train becomes late because, for example, the train doors won't close due to people cramming themselves in, the trains behind them can get jammed up. Once realizing that a train is too behind schedule, it should make an announcement to passengers on the train that it will be going express. Express meaning it will only stop at certain stops and bypass others completely. After the announcement, passengers can get off right then if the train is not going to their stop. They should hop on the next train behind them which hopefully will be stopping at all stops. Once the first train gets back on schedule, it can go from express back to its normal stops. Yes, some passengers will be upset. But it's better to have 100 upset people than 1000.

Submitted by: May-Mei L., Alexandria, VA


If the next station is center platform and a relatively empty reverse direction train is known to be en route, it would likely be faster and simpler for all concerned to not even bother with the announcement and have affected customers take the train the other way. Once the public gets accustomed to this practice, and if implementation is correct, its advantages will become apparent.

by Mike on Jul 15, 2016 4:11 pm • linkreport

I disagree with this idea heavily. Though I do think that the delays should be fixed I don't think this is the right answer. This will make commutes frustrating and confusing. 1 already many riders must transfer to get where they are going (me included.) and will not want to transfer more than needed. 2 announcements on Metro when riding in anything besides 7000 series are unclear, rarely audible, and frequently fail. This will cause utter confusion when the station someone needs to get off at is randomly skipped. 3 trains get so backed up that in some cases 3 to 4 stations would have to be skipped. If this happened on the Yellow Line all the downtown stations could be skipped. and lastly 4. No matter what is done a delay on one train will affect previous trains especial in downtown during rush hour when trains regularly run less than 2 minutes apart. This could cause several trains to skip certain stations thus resulting in 20+ minutes between trains and the possibility that no trains even serve that station for the whole rush hour. In conclusion I believe that this will overall result in confusion and anger that will make rush hour a nightmare. I appreciate your contribution May-Mei, This problem does need to be fixed, I just don't think that this is the right way.

by Matthew T. on Jul 15, 2016 7:17 pm • linkreport

Regardless of whether express trains are pre announced, forced, or scheduled, they should not skip transfer stations unless a mathematical real time analysis of live fare gate data suggests minimal impact.

The $100k should be spent on top quality research based software to assist controllers in making real time train expressing decisions.

By expressing at non transfer stations, overall service and transfers will improve.

by Mike on Jul 15, 2016 10:02 pm • linkreport

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