If there was a great example of a blogger/activist writing to bring about change on an issue, it was The Bus Bench's Dead Escalator Series. The series chronicled the experiences of "Bus Tard" as he went from station to station wondering why the hell the escalators/elevators would work one day and not the next (or not at all.) In the series' final post, Bus Tard is able to both claim partial victory and gets an explin why the escalators are sometimes working and sometimes not.
This past week, a team of inspectors was in the Metro tending to the escalators and lifts. Quite a few escalators were fixed, and for that I am happy. The lifts may take a bit longer, but we'll see...
The emergency stop button is frequently engaged by school kids (whose idea of a prank is frighteningly dim, I might add) and to re-start the escalator in question, one must reach into the lower left panel for the switch. (Those panels are rarely locked, a statement that prompted no responce from the MTA official that day.) The aluminum steps —"teeth," as I call them—cost several thousand dollars each. When a metal item—say, a penny—is dropped and becomes stuck in the upper or lower skirt, the aluminum ridges are ground down and the "tooth" has to be replaced. Several million a year are spent replacing these parts. Finally, there is an emergency number for the reporting of dead escalators that is placed not very prominently near the emergency stop button.
Some hearty Street Heat congratulations go out to Bus Tard. Now, good luck on fixing those service cuts.