Photo by extraface on Flickr.

This article was posted as an April Fool’s joke.

Today, Metro police chief Michael Taborn announced that WMATA will cease the much maligned random bag searches. This will allow MTPD to focus their time and resources on a new tool in the fight against the serious and imminent threat of terrorism on Metro’s trains.

“Bag searches have become too predictable,” WMATA CEO Richard Sarles said, “and terrorism experts tell us that terrorists like predictability.”

MTPD will now be asking customers to remove their shoes. But, it will not apply to every customer or even every shoe, Taborn stressed.

“Since it has been several years since Richard Reid, the notorious shoe bomber, attempted to bomb an airplane with his shoe, we don’t want to give terrorists the idea that we have forgotten about this attack method,” Taborn said. “We can’t let them think that.”

“In order to foil such a plot,” Taborn continued, “we will randomly deploy officers to two or three of the 86 stations in the system, asking every 17th customer to remove one of their shoes and walk to the train in that manner. Experts say this will really keep potential terrorists on their toes.”

The shoe-checking program will be instituted at the beginning of May. It will not be in effect on days with inclement weather, temperatures below 50 or above 75, or in any jurisdiction that requires shirt and shoes for service.

“While these new measures may raise questions with some customers about effectiveness or civil liberties,” Sarles chided, “I’ve been told by various experts that they will reduce terrorist attacks by at least 100% year over year.”

In fact, if Metro hears from national security experts that the threat level has reached a certain level, they have begun scoping more strict terrorism deterrents. Sarles told reporters, “Under certain circumstances, we may even choose random stations to shut down entirely or simply discontinue service for a period of months. Statistically, that is the most effective way to reduce the chance of attacks. Or at least so I’ve been told.”


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Geoff Hatchard lived in DC’s Trinidad neighborhood. The opinions and views expressed in Geoff’s writing on this blog are his, and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer.

Erik Weber has been living car-free in the District since 2009.  Hailing from the home of the nation’s first Urban Growth Boundary, Erik has been interested in transit since spending summers in Germany as a kid where he rode as many buses, trains and streetcars as he could find.  Views expressed here are Erik’s alone.