- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Metro customers demanded better service and more of it last night at the transit agency’s first town hall meeting of the year.

Some came to the meeting at George Mason High School in Fairfax County with complaints about removing seats from subway cars, buses that came too early, drivers who talk on cell phones and the lack of parking at the Vienna Metro station.

Others had ideas to increase service.

Marilyn Henretty of Burke asked Metro to add train information signs outside stations, not just on the platforms

“If there’s a power outage or other delay, you should know that ahead of time before you go in and pay your money,” she said.

She also would like to see rail expanded along Interstate 95 and also to Burke.

Dennis Jaffe of the District said he wants to see rail to Tysons Corner and a “Purple Line” encircling the region near the Beltway.

The meeting was part of new Metro Board Chairman Dana Kauffman’s plans to expand passenger input. Mr. Kauffman said giving riders a chance to be heard will lead to better accountability for the transit system.

“It might be a baby step, but this is our first serious, focused attempt to actually engage our riders,” he said. “I believe it will work well, and we’ll have a better system because of it.”

Jack Corbett, a co-founder of a group representing Metro riders, said the top concerns expressed on his Web site, metroriders.org, are the speed of adding additional tracks and rail cars, the design of the new rail cars and the reliability of service.

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