To the editor:
Metrorail was possibly at one time the best subway system in the United States, but the failed maintenance, service disruptions and diminished service have made it unreliable and much less useful. Although more than half the railcar fleet is out of service and certification has lapsed for many train operators, Metro claimed that six years under chief executive officer Paul Wiedefeld have been a success.
If Mark C. Williams, in his May 26 letter in the Alexandria Times, “We have no public transportation,” had stuck to the facts, he would have presented an opinion worth reading. Instead, he damaged his credibility by asserting repeatedly that “there is no longer any” public transportation “in the region” and telling readers that we need to “have, and drive, a car.”
Metro’s rail operations do not even deserve to be called service, but the fact is that Metrobus and Dash, to which Williams also referred, have improved service in the past year. The 28A Metrobus, which used to run every half hour, now is scheduled to run every 12 minutes most of the day. The 29 Metrobuses between Alexandria and Fairfax City and between Alexandria and Vienna used to run every half hour between them; now they run every 20 minutes between them. The restructured Dash system has several lines that now run every 15 minutes. This bus service is not totally reliable, but it’s pretty good, and it is public transportation.
Metrorail is an embarrassment. Metrobus and Dash have room for improvement. I use them all. I don’t drive any more. And I’m not buying a car.
-Steve Dunham, Alexandria