02 November 2005

Check Out My RAC!

My guess is that Metro didn't think too much before throwing that acronym out to the public. More importantly, I'm not sure just how much strategic planning went into the creation of the Riders' Advisory Council. Of course, once I found out about the RAC - approximately 72 hours before the application deadline - I applied. While I have no doubt the initiative is flawed (Metro really wants to hear what schmucks like me have to say?), I do believe this is a baby-step in the right direction.

- - -

Then yesterday sumpnspicious happened; I received an e-mail simply entitled "Riders' Advisory Council Application":

Thank you for your interest in Metro's Riders' Advisory Council (RAC)! This e-mail is to confirm that we have received your RAC membership application and are in the process of reviewing it. However, in reviewing your application, it was noted that some of your information appears to be truncated/incomplete. Please take time to carefully review your application information (attached) and make any necessary changes to ensure that all of your information is captured.

NOTE: You will be given three (3) business days to re-submit the attached application with changes. If you have not replied within the allotted time, the application will go to the next stage of the screening process as is.

If you deem the application acceptable as is and no changes are necessary, you do not have to do anything. Otherwise, please REPLY to this e-mail or forward any changes to RACComments@wmata.com. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Akua K. John at (202) 962-xxxx. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and your interest in the Riders' Advisory Council.

Akua K. John
Office of Project Communications
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
600 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Pardon? I labored for a least an entire hour on the application - two essays filled with complete sentences, not just phrases and bullet points - and now you want to tell me that my application is somehow "truncated?" After wrestling with the attached PDF for five minutes or so ("Error: The Requested File Does Not Exist"..."Error: The Requested File Does Not Exist" etc.), I realized the problem was with whatever program Metro used to transfer the responses I entered for the online form into a PDF. Not only did it cut off essays mid-paragraph, all of the apostrophes morphed into quotations marks - I'm surprised they even wanted to give an illiterate bastard like myself a chance to make amends.

Whoever is vetting the applications must have found my half-paragraphs intriguing enough to ask for the rest, no? If not, what I fear most is a fare increase due to the manpower and bandwidth expenses incurred if every applicant's answers were amputated.


  1. "If not, what I fear most is a fare increase due to the manpower and bandwidth expenses incurred if every applicant's answers were amputated."

    I'm not sure you understand the level of apathy that exists, even in DC, among the American citizens. What I mean to say is that you need not worry about any price increases; I doubt that many ppl applied in the first place. Even you (one of the most socially minded ppl i know) waited until the last min. to apply!
    What a wonderful, caring world we live in these days.

  2. c-man,

    I think the response ended up being more than WMATA expected - for some reason I can't find any links to that effect right now, but I believe the number was 700+. Not too shabby.

    Oh, and I ALWAYS wait until the last minute...I'm surprised I didn't ask for an extension.

  3. i missed the whole thing! i would've applied, and plan on seeing if i still can, considering metro is my only form of transportation and i have a lot to say about it, from suggestions for improvement to criticisms.

    though we live in a world in which people want other people to solve their problems, there's no doubt in my mind they had to received a ton of applications of people wanting a part of the rac. when there are at times over 700,000 riders in one day, there has to be enough people to want to share their opinions to create three or four racs.


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