How bad are the D.C. Metro system’s escalators?
So bad they have their own Twitter account dedicated to monitoring their relative brokenness at every moment of every day. It’s literally a breaking news feed.
So, why not promote the guy who runs escalators to…run the entire Metro public transit rail system? That is how we roll in your capital city:
The head of Metro’s escalator and elevator department is taking over its track and engineering services unit.
Metro officials said Tuesday Rodrigo Bitar will become assistant general manager for the agency’s transit infrastructure and engineering services division, which has 4,800 employees. He will replace Rob Troup in that position. Troup recently took over as the number two at Metro, replacing Dave Kubicek as deputy general manager of operations.
For the last three years, Bitar served as general superintendent for Metro’s escalator and elevator division.
Bitar joined Metro in 2008 and worked on the quality assurance group, which supported the 2000, 3000 and 5000 series rail cars. Those rail cars have had troubles with brake parts falling off of them.
It really is nearly unbelievable how often escalators are broken throughout the system. I have rarely been inside a Metro station in which all of them were working at one time. They seemingly take months to repair, the system spends millions on new ones, whose installation causes years-long escalator shutdowns, repairs are marked by union sluggishness and counterproductivity, they have to replace escalators installed under 10 years ago, and they have a track record of ignoring known problems . This guy is such a spectacular example of failing upwards, it feels like Washington might be trolling us. But nope, it’s just standard failing upwards. But failing up the stairs, of course. The escalators out.
I parodied Rachel Maddow’s Hoover Damn MSNBC promo back in the day, with my own soliloquy on how our country can come together to fix escalators. We’re coming together on your health care next!