WASHINGTON - Is Metro back to good? Or even closer to good? On Thursday, 700 Metro employees fanned out across the transit system telling customers thank you for putting up with over a year of SafeTrack repairs and delays. This all comes as Metro raised fares and reduced service.
Metro office workers, managers and just about anyone who doesn't help operate the system have come out to say thank you to customers and even handed out thank you cards with a coupon for a free cup of coffee from McDonald’s.
Metro is saying thank you and giving out free McDonalds coffee coupons this afternoon pic.twitter.com/jsza9MiirE— Matt Ackland (@mattacklandfox5) June 29, 2017
"Thanks for riding" pic.twitter.com/iQmTVeaNZw— Matt Ackland (@mattacklandfox5) June 29, 2017
While some appreciated the gesture, it comes at the same time when Metro passengers are unhappy with the increase of 10 to 25 cents on fares for Metrorail while Metrobus fares went up 25 cents.
Constant issues of delays with Metro also remain a frustration for riders. We asked if they think the thank you gesture by Metro on Thursday is enough.
“The fact that the thank you comes at the same time as the price raise, it doesn't really do what they are trying to do I think,” said one Metro rider. “I have only seen it go down since I have been here. But sometimes things need to get worse before they get better.”
“If you are going to raise the fares, at least have better customer service,” said another passenger. “For instance, the trains are too crowded.”
“Prices are going up and they are ridiculous,” another rider told us.
On a Twitter poll we posted on Thursday, we asked, “Do you think Metro is #backtogood yet?”
Poll: Metro will personally thank riders today now that SafeTrack has ended. Do you think metro is #backtogood yet?— Matt Ackland (@mattacklandfox5) June 29, 2017
As of Thursday evening, only three percent voted “yes” while 26 percent voted for “It’s getting there.” But a whopping 71 percent chose “Not even close.”
Metro issued a statement earlier this week saying that they believe that SafeTrack is done and over with while people are coming back to the system. They said on Tuesday, there were nearly 700,000 people riding the transit system, the most ridership since the beginning of 2017.
Metro’s union held a protest Thursday evening at several stations and passed out flyers that read in part, “Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. WMATA just cut your service and raised your fares.”
The union has been upset with wages, benefits and some changes in policy and they are currently in mediation with their contract.