Everytime I am in London I continue to marvel on how badly and ineptly managed the Metro subway/underground system is here in Washington, DC . DC's system has been in operation a bit more than 30 years and is already falling apart. The London Underground or Tube is now over 140 years old and manages to carry ever increasing numbers of passengers. At last count it carried roughly 4 million people in a day.
Metro tells us that it is technically impossible to run at 2 or 4 minute headways. Wow, they need to tell the folks who run the Tube that they must obviously be doing something wrong! A friend of mine puts it this way: When the DC Metro was planned management send the engineers, designers, architects and builders all over the world to look at underground transit systems. They all came back and incorporated the worst part of each system they had taken a look at into the Metro system here in DC!
Basicall Metro is run by committee. Few, if any members of that committee know what they are doing. Political infighting is the rule of the day. Hardly ever is a person in management or "regular" employment held accountable for doing something stupid.
The biggest pet peeve of mine regarding Metro (and there are many!) is their apparent unwillingness and inability to make proper station announcements. The cars are actually set up for this, but that system has never been used. Why I do not know. What riders get nowadays is an unintelligable and bored sounding mumble from the train drivers. I live in DC, so I know where I am going on the subway. Pity the poor tourist who is trying to find his or her way around town and expects to be told what station they are approaching.
How novel and refreshing to hear these clear and understandable passenger announcements on the Piccadilly Line in London:
Notice that the train is going to London Heathrow Airport. Here in DC we do not even have any decent public transportation to Washington Dulles International Airport. How sad!