Somehow, this is turning into a Metro blog…

So, probably most of you know about the 9/12 protests that happened in DC last weekend. I went down to check it out for Mom, and to send her a picture. There were a bunch of people, maybe even 70,000. That’s a lot of extra riders on the Metro!

Apparently, the tea partiers aren’t pleased with Metro’s level of service. They complained that it was too crowded, Metro should have prepared better, etc. “They have a point,” I can hear you thinking. “70,000 extra riders on a weekend – Metro should have prepared for that!”

But, you’d be wrong. For one thing, the event organizers only predicted 15-25,000 people, which would not have warranted additional rail service. And in addition, if they wanted early station openings, the organizers would have had to pay for it out of pocket anyway (like the Marine Corps Marathon does, for example).

AND, irony of ironies, what are they protesting? Government spending! What are they cranky about? A government-funded transportation system is inadequate! Would they be in favor of increasing the funding to resolve the inadequacies? No way! Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) wrote a letter to Catoe complaining about the inconvenience. He says that protesters “were frustrated and disappointed that our nation’s capitol” failed to “provide a basic level of transit for them.” Gee, Brady, where was this concern about Metro’s ability to provide a “basic level of transit” when you decided to vote against increasing its federal funding.

The PlumLine sums it up best:

[I]t’s a real head-spinner to bash a government-run system for failing to adequately serve an enormous anti-government protest after opposing government funding for it.

But Prince of Petworth commenter Jimmy D also has a good point:

[This] congressman, from Southwest Texas, unfamiliar with the metro system, and who has no vested interest in how this city works for the people that live and work here, has more say over its policies than the actual DC residents.

That’s why we need actual representation!

P.S. – I don’t know if you can tell by the number of links to different places reporting this story, but it’s kind of a big hit in DC right now. It combines three great loves of DC residents – making fun of tourists, discussing the Metro, and making fun of tourists riding the Metro!

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