Escalator money

I mentioned previously how many of the escalators in the DC Metro are often broken, turning them into uncomfortable staircases. And since there are very few staircases in the metro system, you don't typically have the option to take a regular staircase with landings. You can either go three hundred steps (200 vertical feet) with no landings and not much room to pass or be passed, or you can wait a long time for a very slow, urine-soaked elevator. Twice, since you have to change elevators at the mezzanine. And sometimes there's a real mess:

A video posted to Twitter (below) by user "wfpman" shows people shouting and a lone Metro employee struggling to perform crowd control as masses of people are backed up in the mezzanine, unable to exit, while people coming down both escalators struggle against those trying to walk up.

Update 5:47p.m.: If Metro has attempted to rectify the situation that saw all three long escalators at Dupont Circle's north entrance out of service during the morning rush, their efforts appear to have fallen flat. Just in time for the evening rush, one of those escalators may be, well, on fire.

Update 6:05p.m.: Dupont's north entrance is closed, but that hasn't stopped a mob of people from climbing up a blocked-off escalator, then jumping across a handrail to exit. Trains are still moving and Metro has not reported delays, but shuttle service to Farragut North has been requested.

Washington Post

Fortunately, $4.9 million has just been allocated to fix the escalators. I have no idea what fixing the escalators might actually cost, but maybe this will be enough. For now.