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A 24-hour Metro? For one rider, the train is always half full – By Kytja Weir, Washington Examiner
|| 1/5/2011 || 10:09 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Logo for Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro

Earlier this week I got a random Facebook message from a reporter who noticed that I had created the Facebook Group Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro and was interested in doing an interview. I wrote her back and we ended up speaking for about 30 minutes about this project. A couple days later this article showed up on the Washington Examiner’s Capitol Land blog:


Screen grab from the Washington Examiner website

A 24-hour Metro? For one rider, the train is always half full

By: Kytja Weir 01/05/11 3:34 PM
Examiner Staff Writer

Nikolas Schiller has a dream. But even he calls it “a dream deferred.”

He’d like to see the Metro system operate 24 hours a day. And 689 others agree with him.

The D.C. consultant and artist created a Facebook campaign in February 2009 called “Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro.” It quickly got a following, even though he acknowledges that many of the fans were already his friends.

“The United States government operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so should Metro,” became the motto.

He traveled around to other systems and realized few agencies but New York City run 24 hours a day. But his thinking was that if riders miss the last train of the night in D.C., they have to shell out big bucks for a taxi to get home.

So why not charge riders more for late-night service, perhaps running just one train per hour? That would allow the trains to move on a single track, freeing up the other side for the track work and maintenance that gets done at night, he said.

He started the campaign to gauge interest. He even bought ads on Facebook to tout the idea.

At one point he tried to organize a meet up of the like-minded, hoping to re-create subway parties that occurred on London’s system.

But alas, Metro has talked of cutting service in recent years, not expanding it. Even the extended weekend service of 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights teetered on the chopping block during the last budget cycle, saved at the last minute by District officials.

Now, the current focus on safety makes Schiller’s idea even less likely. And then there’s the cost.

Metro has charged $27,000 to groups to open the rail system an hour early, say for a marathon or other event. At that rate, it would cost about $135,000 a day to keep trains running. That’s $49 million for an entire year.

To cover the extra costs, the system would need for riders to make about 26,000 more trips each day at $5.24 a pop (twice the current average rail fare) on top of the already 700,000 or so trips that occur on a typical weekday. That’s before taking into account the extra wear and tear on the trains and tracks or other costs that would come from running continuous service.

But Schiller says he would still like to see it happen. And the Facebook campaign lives on, gathering a few hopeful followers at a time. Three more joined this week alone.


Leave comments on the Washington Examiner website: http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/capital-land/2011/01/24-hour-metro-one-rider-train-always-half-full



Don’t Look Back – Physically Assaulted On A MetroBus
|| 8/12/2010 || 11:58 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

This was first posted on Facebook to allay the concerns of my friends after reading the tweets:


Riding home on the 92 down U street- got on at 18th & Wyoming. Going 8 blocks down U. About 5 minutes after boarding a crazy dude behind me at about 7 rows back says something like ‘look back here again and I’ll kick your ass.’ Thinking it was someone else I looked back. Crazy dude walks up to my seat and proceeds to start swinging at me in my seat. Woman from behind me, about 3 rows back, in between he & I, pulls him away. The bus stops. He gets ejected off at 15 & U. I am asked if I want to press charges. Shaken, I felt my forehead, said No. One block later, this same crazy person, walks/runs to the next block to the 14th & U intersection, outside the McDonalds, and DEMANDS to get back on the bus being that he had already paid his fare. At this point a series of people get out their phones and call 911. I call myself and give my statement. The Darwin award goes to the man who waits for the police to arrive. 3 cars do. Then a couple more. A few people get off the bus to announce to the police what happened. I get up, apologize to the bus for hindering their commute, and as I step off the bus a police officer, last name Ali, asked if I was hit by the man. I said yes. He leaves and proceeds to arrest the crazy dude. It was painful to watch them take him down. He was placed in handcuffs on his belly. Two people from the bus came forward to give their eye-witness statements. The woman in her mid-20’s from Georgia who yanked the crazy dude off me (thank you) and the mid-20’s Asian man both gave their contact information. After all the police left, one by one, the last officer got out the camera, and he took a couple pictures of the welt on my forehead. One photograph included a millimeter measuring stick that actually measured the size of the red mark. I walked two blocks toward and ran into to one of the people I’ve known longer than anyone else in DC– JR Russ– who I had my first Thanksgiving in DC with. Story told. Walked the rest of the way home. Tired. No concussion. Needless drama. Needless pain. Don’t look back.


This is the third time I’ve been physically assaulted in the District of Columbia in the last three years…. The previous assaults happened on July 17, 2008 & October 28th, 2008



Note to the cartographers at the New York Times: the Red Line goes into Maryland
|| 7/11/2009 || 7:00 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

I know this a bit late, but I was looking over the coverage of the DC Metro train collision last month on the websites of the Washington Post (below) and the New York Times (above) and noticed one glaring error in the New York Times map. The Red Line does not start and end at the borders of the District of Columbia, rather it extends far into the state of Maryland. Maybe the New York Times can issue a cartographic correction?

I guess you could say this is a good example of when the local newspaper gets it right…


Related Found Maps:

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Animated Map Showing the History of New York City’s Subway System
|| 4/11/2008 || 7:12 pm || Comments Off on Animated Map Showing the History of New York City’s Subway System || ||

Pretty fun to watch. I’d like to make one of Washington, DC, but don’t have the data.

[via]

The closest I’ve made to this map would be the Google Maplet of the 1880 Street Railway Map of the City of Washington. Click here for more information about the system’s history.



1880 Street Railway Map of the City of Washington
|| 9/14/2007 || 4:28 pm || Comments Off on 1880 Street Railway Map of the City of Washington || ||

Using map #10 from 1880 Statistical Map of the City of Washington, I was able to make this unique, interactive, antique map mashup.

View the Google Maplet

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transit recap
|| 11/23/2005 || 2:08 pm || Comments Off on transit recap || ||

I arrived this morning at train station in Ann Arbor…

Ride Recap–

I enjoyed the train ride from DC to Toledo, OH and the bus trip from Toledo to Ann Arbor by way of Detroit and Dearborn.

When I boarded in DC, I found that there were no window seats left, so I made my way back up the isle and plopped down in a seat next to a person who was not currently seated. When the person got back, I realized I sat next to one of the more beautiful & entertaining women on the train. We ended up chattin for most the train ride and it made the time fly by. She & I went to the cafe car and proceded to get somewhat drunk together. She turned out to be a woman named Jenn from somewhere in rural Ohio who was living in NYC studying television & acting. She was also probably the most “pop-culture” I’ve ever seen one person be. This is not a bad thing perse, but rather it showed me how vastly different we were. To explain this labeling, I have mention that she has a dog named “Paris Brittney,” and throughout the trip she & I periodically listened to her iPod- which was loaded with Brittney Spears, Good Charolette, and other boy & girl bands. It was sorta surreal, like I was sitting next to someone who just walked out of the MTV studios. Regardless, she was cool and I had a blast sharing that portion of the train ride with her.

After she got off, my drunk ass passed out- waking up about 30 seconds before the train was about to start moving toward Chicago– I was in Toledo and overslept through the 10 minutes of deboarding time I was supposed to use! I hurried up and got off the train in time to see it start to chug away from me.

With the close call out of the way, the bus trip from Toledo to Ann Arbor was quite decent. As we travelled north on highway 75 towards Detroit, off in the distance I could see the twin towers of the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Power Plant. Its been a long time since I’ve seen a nuclear power plant and I must say it was eerie. It’s like there is a controlled nuclear reaction taking place less than a mile away from me that could go horribly wrong at any second….

About an hour an half later I arrived in Ann Arbor and was picked up my sister and taken to her spacious apartment about 3 minutes away. My other sister arrived before I did and is asleep in the other room, and this evening my mom, her fiance, and her fiance’s son should arrive. It should be a fun Thanksgiving and I feel blessed that I was able to get here without any problems.





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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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