This article was posted as an April Fool’s joke.
Though Metro General Manager John Catoe will depart the agency tomorrow, the ninety-week notice he gave the public — a timeline carefully outlined by the WMATA Compact — caused other top officials to leave early. To fill the staffing gap, WMATA has turned to local bloggers to fill top positions, as they clearly have nothing better to do.
Michael Perkins assumed the position of Budget Director, but late nights analyzing the budget have taken a have toll on his personal life. His wife caught him referring to their kids’ allowances as “operating subsidies” and even saw him charging his children $4.50 to park the big wheel in front of the fridge on weekends.
The author of the Metro gripe blog Unsuck DC Metro was appointed to handle the Customer Service department. He started accepting official system complaints on his blog, but when he was overwhelmed with comments, his site slowed down significantly. This caused city resident Richard Washington to announce his own blog, Unsuck Unsuck DC Metro, to catalogue complaints about all transit bloggers around the region.
Matt Johnson took over the graphics department. His first week on the job caused headaches when to the surprise of riders, system maps posted in the stations were replaced with fantasy Metro maps. Three tourists complained to ABC7 that they could not determine which one of the 28 lines actually went to Georgetown, a station marked on every map in some form. They instead had to hail a canal barge, which turned out to be faster than taking a bus along M Street.
Dr. Gridlock was appointed to revise the outage communication system. Now all service disruptions are posted online and tweeted instantly and riders are able to ask about service on weekly live chats. This new job has been in the works for a number of months; readers quickly sent letters saying, “I knew there was a reason you were writing about WMATA more!”
Michael Jantzen was recently placed in charge of the newly formed Alternative Revenue Department. Jantzen has ideas of expanding WMATA’s income streams beyond fares and ads. Soon certain stations, almost all in DC, will feature photo booths charging $1 for a set of five photos ($1.05 if you pay in cash). During the trial phase, Jantzen will install a photo booth at Dupont Circle. To save money, Jantzen will sit on the other side of the booth and take the pictures himself. Riders are warned to apply makeup before entering the stations since the photos won’t be voluntary.
Sommer Mathis, editor of DCist, was offered the position of General Manager, but ultimately chose to be a train operator instead. Regular riders of the Green Line soon became well informed of all the musical acts performing at venues within a few blocks of the U Street station.