Some Ramblings on Metro Etiquette: Part 1

This piece is written specifically in reference to the DC Metro rail system, however, metro (or subway) users from around the country may find some relevancies between the DC metro and their local city’s rail system.


As I write this, I sit aboard an Amtrak train bound for Charlotte, North Carolina. This post, however, holds no relevance to the world of Amtrak trains, but dwells on the complaints and critiques of the DC Metro rail system. As of now I still cannot decide whether or not this is going to be a giant complaint from a cranky metro-douche or an educational piece on how to avoid the wrath of the aforementioned breed of commuter train riders.


To fully critique and correct the behaviors that seem to irk the rushed businessmen and cranky old people one may run into on the DC metro, I’ll have to walk you through an entire metro experience. To keep my easily distracted mind on topic, I’m going to take you through the trip I made this morning form the Shady Grove to Union Station.


In order to document the entire experience I will take you from the moment I woke up until the moment I swiped my metro card to leave and enter Union Station.


Waking up is always the worst part of the day, unless you’re some sort of sick twisted “morning person” (I don’t understand or like morning people but that’s a topic for another time). Being the stupid person that I naturally am, I decided to try and pull an all-nighter in an attempt to sleep for the entire train ride to North Carolina. Unfortunately after a long night of various substances and binge watching Conor McGregor’s entire MMA career on the internet, I passed out at 5:15 AM with the strange ambition of waking up at 6:45 in order to pack and and run some errands before leaving for the metro stop at 8:30. Naturally, my sleep deprived body somehow managed to sleep through multiple alarms so I had the pleasure of waking up to the lovely sound of my mother pounding on my door yelling “It’s eight o’clock! Get your ass out of bed!”. So as one might imagine I was in a terrific mood and really looking forward to my combined total of 10.5 hours of sitting on my ass in various hot train cars. My plan was quickly falling apart as I only had 30 minutes to pack all of my things, shower, eat, and try to sober up enough to focus for more than two minutes at a time. I still don’t know if I packed anything that I actually need for this trip so this weekend may be pretty interesting.

By the time I got myself out the door, I was already ten minutes late and in no way prepared to handle the first trial of using the DC metro… DC morning commuter traffic. A trip that would normally taken me 25 minutes driving in my normal fashion (imagine a rage filled, ex-rally car driver with just a tad of PTSD that trigger Viet Nam flashbacks) took me a full 45 thanks to all of the useless twats who think it’s acceptable to drive 10 under the speed limit because they know it pisses off people, but again thats a topic that I can’t get into right now. Just for one second imagine with me that you’re on a nicely paved smooth three lane highway with enough room to weave through cars as if you and your tiny Ford Fiesta could dance your way to victory lane at the Talladega Super Speedway, except there are three cars that have somehow choreographed and beautifully executed a flying ‘V’ formation and have you pinned in the middle lane for the whole drive going 35 in a 45. Fuck everyone who has ever done that. As if it’s not enough that they boxed you in all the way to the metro but two of them cut you off and slowly crawl in front of you into the kiss n’ ride parking lot and proceed to take up the whole area making you walk the whole way to the train station. There’s enough room to make two lines so stop with the damn single-file bullshit so I don’t have to walk a half mile to get to the fuckin’ train.

Once you’ve fought your way past all of the incompetent DC area drivers, you then get the thrill of queuing up to swipe your metro card at the gates. You’re standing in line waiting for a couple minutes when you notice one of the gates is open with no line. DO NOT use that gate! It never works for some reason or another and everyone will rudely stare at you as you try to get back into line as if they saw you walk up to a new mother and punch her baby. Then not only are you pushed to the back of the line, you’re also paying peak hour fare prices because of all these business fuckers in their “casual Fridays” outfit where some old ass mid-life crisis office douchebag decided it was acceptable to pair a blue sport coat with dark blue jeans as if they thought the colorblind old man look would catch on.

After you’ve finally managed to squeeze through the gates, which are always slightly too tight to walk through normally and close way too fast often giving you a nice dead-leg or kidney shot, you get to slowly walk up the escalator behind a large group of slow moving old people. For no reason other than to spite you, the escalators that take you up to the train platform never work causing a pileup of elderly people who seem to have forgotten how to walk up stairs. Unless you’re 75 plus years old and in need of a cane, a simple flight of stairs should not present a problem for you, and this is why you shouldn’t skip leg day.

I’ve just realized this is longer than the VHS box set of Gone With the Wind so I’m going to give you a prolonged intermission. Please rewind this tape and insert tape 2.

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