Carolyn Wright writes a letter to the Chronicle about her recent experience on METRO’s transit backbone:
On March 12, I had a court appearance at 9 a.m. At Fannin South station, I tried to purchase a ticket for Metro’s rail. None of the four ticket machines were working. No attendant was on duty and no instructions were posted.
On the trip downtown, a Metro policeman began collecting tickets. I tried to explain that I had no ticket because the machines weren’t working. He became very offensive. He said in an extremely hateful tone, “We have passed at least 10 ticket machines since Fannin South — you should have gotten off the train, purchased a ticket and boarded the next train!” I told him I had no idea about this procedure — this was only the second time I had ridden, and no instructions were posted anywhere.
At the next stop, he told me and another woman to get off the train. He began talking very loudly and belligerently. He said he was only giving us a “warning” but threatened that this “better not happen again.”
This situation might explain why Metro gets a bad reputation. People traveling by train on an occasional basis have no way of knowing the “rules”! Instructions of what to do should be posted somewhere around the ticket machines.
Neither customer service nor transparency are strengths of METRO.