The Daily Render


A Digital Scrapbook for the Past, Present, and Future


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:

15th Street on YouTube || North Meets South || A Game of Locational Awareness [part 2]
|| 12/3/2009 || 2:50 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

click image above to view

On August 5th, 2008 I made the first version of this mashup, East Meets West and with the newly created contraflow bicycle lane on 15th Street NWDC, I decided to make the second version, North Meets South.

The two videos were taken from one continuous video recording that I conducted while riding on my bicycle from U Street & 15th Street to Massachusetts Ave & 15th Street and back. At home I split the videos into North & South and used the crosswalks as the starting & ending points. The object of this video mashup is to find the exact time when the two recordings pass each other on opposite sides of the street.

A few notes:


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:


Metro Crash Quilt #2
|| 6/29/2009 || 2:23 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Metro Crash Quilt No.2 by Nikolas R. Schiller

Continuing on the theme of my last map, I decided to focus on the merging of the two Metro trains for this version. To create this map I first sampled a portion of Metro Crash Quilt, then I used that portion to create an intermediate map (that I chose to not publish), which I then sampled again to create this fractal Hexagon Quilt Projection map. This process of recursive sampling allowed me to focus more and more on the portion of the map where the two train merge together. The result is a weaved pattern of train tracks and merging Metro cars; a far more intricate map than my previous version. What is lost, however, is the area around the crash site and the crash site itself, in their place are more trains and more train track. I have sampled a portion of this map and am in the process of seeing what a third iteration will look like.

View the Google Map of the crash site in upper Northeast Washington, DC.

: detail :

View the rest of the map details:


Metro Crash Quilt
|| 6/27/2009 || 12:09 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

: rendered at 18,000 X 12,000 :
Metro Crash Quilt by Nikolas R. Schiller

As I stated before, I decided to make a map of the location of where the Metro crash took place. When preparing the imagery I did my best to include both the train and the exact site of the collision, but when it came to trying out different Quilt Projection designs, I found the Square Quilt Projection to have a very interesting line of symmetry– the Metro train itself.

While this map is derived from orthophotography, which essentially flattens out the terrain, the train’s laterally merging together on a line of symmetry creates a different viewing approach to the train. Since I cannot replicate the Metro train on top of another Metro train (nor would I really want to or even have access to the aerial photos of the crash itself), this line of symmetry approach offers a stylized (albeit sad) way to show the merger of two trains.

The aim of this map was to document the location of this tragedy, but I was able to add more than I expected to the final result; a simulated merger of two trains. Had there not been a random train passing through the area on that day in March of 2005, this map would be devoid of the subject of it’s creation and only show the location of the tragedy.

I am working on a second iteration of this map which should be ready shortly.

View the Google Map of the crash site in upper Northeast Washington, DC.

: detail of the crash site with two Metro trains merging together :

View the rest of the map details:


Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro
|| 2/4/2009 || 5:32 pm || Comments Off on Washington Metropolitan Area Residents for a 24 Hour Metro || ||

Recently I’ve read about the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority threatening to cut back on services. Today I decided to create a Facebook Group that ignores this threat and asks for expanded services– specifically, having the Metro run 24 hours a day. I’d be willing to pay more for late night service, but will WMATA care? Will they expand their services and make DC a more world-class city? I doubt it…

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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:

If you would like to use content found here, please consult my Fair Use page.


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