Metro "Riders' Union" pushes for change

- Frustrated Metro riders say they are ready to take matters into their own hands to fix the problems plaguing the transit agency.

The Twitter handle @FixWMATA has been a gathering place for all kinds of complaints, photos and stories about what is wrong with Metro. Now, the man behind that handle says he is ready to form a real group to press Metro in person for improvements.

Chris Barnes, who started @FixWMATA in 2010, launched the WMATA Riders' Union on Thursday.

"24 hours later, I have 800 followers on Twitter and over 150 people who've submitted their contact information via the website," said Barnes.

Just like the tweets that are sent to his Twitter page showing Metro not at its best, Barnes says the union will be rooted in real rider experiences.

Metro spokesperson Sherri Ly says the transit agency is trying to improve its own outreach. But WMATA Riders' Union wants a passenger on the Metro board, which is not a sure thing.

"Is there any possibility a passenger representative could wind up on the Metro board someday?" FOX 5's Tom Fitzgerald asked.

"Any decision on that is subject to the compact that creates WMATA," said Ly.

D.C., Maryland, Virginia and Congress would all have to pass a law before any passenger could take a seat on Metro's board. Even so, Barnes is not giving up on the idea.

"I think that's kind of what's needed and I think I'm voicing concerns of many other people when I do that," Barnes said.

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