Metropocalypse
  • Language: eng
  • Episodes: 29
  • Last: 19 Dec 2016
Explosions and smoke-filled tunnels. Frustrated riders and epic commutes. This is the new normal on Washington’s Metro. Metropocalypse, a weekly podcast from WAMU 88.5, explores the unprecedented plan to rebuild tracks and re-engineer culture on the nation’s second largest transit system. Send questions & ideas to metro@wamu.org.

Episodes (29)

  • EPISODE 27: A Metro Carol
    EPISODE 27: A Metro Carol
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    Published: 19 Dec 2016 Duration: n/a
    Metro is taking disciplinary action against half its track inspection department. Late-night trains will not return until July 2019 at the earliest. Will the new year usher in a season of festivity and goodwill to all riders?
    Metro is taking disciplinary action against half its track inspection department. Late-night trains will not return until July 2019 at the earliest. Will the new year usher in a season of festivity and goodwill to all riders?

  • Episode 26: Ride With Metro’s GM
    Episode 26: Ride With Metro’s GM
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    Published: 12 Dec 2016 Duration: n/a
    WAMU's Martin DiCaro commutes with Metro's GM; we talk with a transportation expert about the impact of the rail system's impending hour cutbacks.
    WAMU's Martin DiCaro commutes with Metro's GM; we talk with a transportation expert about the impact of the rail system's impending hour cutbacks.

  • Episode 25: Happy Anniversary, Paul Wiedefeld
    Episode 25: Happy Anniversary, Paul Wiedefeld
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    Published: 5 Dec 2016 Duration: n/a
    On this week's podcast, we talk Metro's steps toward reducing service hours, a Silver Line throwdown and Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld's first year on the job.
    On this week's podcast, we talk Metro's steps toward reducing service hours, a Silver Line throwdown and Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld's first year on the job.

  • Episode 24: Worst Of The Worst Commutes
    Episode 24: Worst Of The Worst Commutes
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    Published: 21 Nov 2016 Duration: 15:34
    Red Line commuters can be thankful that the 10th SafeTrack surge is winding down. But the month-long rehab project, which shut down service along Fort Totten and NoMa/Gallaudet, highlighted how disruptions in a small corner of the system ca... Read more →
    Red Line commuters can be thankful that the 10th SafeTrack surge is winding down. But the month-long rehab project, which shut down service along Fort Totten and NoMa/Gallaudet, highlighted how disruptions in a small corner of the system ca... Read more →

  • Episode 23: Can Donald Trump Make Metro Great Again?
    Episode 23: Can Donald Trump Make Metro Great Again?
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    Published: 15 Nov 2016 Duration: 21:28
    The president-elect's promise to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure improvements is emerging as one of the least divisive aspects of his agenda, at least at this early stage. Will the Republican-controlled Congress go along with it? And wo... Read more →
    The president-elect's promise to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure improvements is emerging as one of the least divisive aspects of his agenda, at least at this early stage. Will the Republican-controlled Congress go along with it? And wo... Read more →

  • Episode 22: Gazing Into The Future (Through The Lens Of A ‘Reality Check’)
    Episode 22: Gazing Into The Future (Through The Lens Of A ‘Reality Check’)
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    Published: 7 Nov 2016 Duration: 25:27
    Buckle your seatbelts, because where we’re going, there are no roads (or single-tracking). We consider two potential scenarios for Metro in the years ahead.
    Buckle your seatbelts, because where we’re going, there are no roads (or single-tracking). We consider two potential scenarios for Metro in the years ahead.

  • Episode 21: Shocks To The System
    Episode 21: Shocks To The System
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    Published: 1 Nov 2016 Duration: 21:40
    Want to hear something really scary? Metro’s 10th SafeTrack surge is hitting its most heavily trafficked artery, shutting down two stations on the Red Line between Fort Totten and NoMa/Gallaudet. We take a horrific bus bridge on the first w... Read more →
    Want to hear something really scary? Metro’s 10th SafeTrack surge is hitting its most heavily trafficked artery, shutting down two stations on the Red Line between Fort Totten and NoMa/Gallaudet. We take a horrific bus bridge on the first w... Read more →

  • Episode 20: Arguing For Equity
    Episode 20: Arguing For Equity
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    Published: 25 Oct 2016 Duration: 26:13
    Permanently ending late-night service. Temporary shutting down stations with low ridership. Many of the ideas for fixing Metro’s ills raise questions of fairness: Are the burdens of the SafeTrack era falling too heavily on lower-income comm... Read more →
    Permanently ending late-night service. Temporary shutting down stations with low ridership. Many of the ideas for fixing Metro’s ills raise questions of fairness: Are the burdens of the SafeTrack era falling too heavily on lower-income comm... Read more →

  • Episode 19: Metro-Politics
    Episode 19: Metro-Politics
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    Published: 17 Oct 2016 Duration: 30:35
    When it comes to Metro politics, the most important thing isn’t party lines — it’s regional lines. We talk to a WMATA board member from Prince George’s County about the view from the east side of the region, and we look at where Virginia, M... Read more →
    When it comes to Metro politics, the most important thing isn’t party lines — it’s regional lines. We talk to a WMATA board member from Prince George’s County about the view from the east side of the region, and we look at where Virginia, M... Read more →

  • Episode 18: Full Throttle Into The Past With Zachary Schrag
    Episode 18: Full Throttle Into The Past With Zachary Schrag
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    Published: 10 Oct 2016 Duration: 53:09
    Why are there so few seats on Metro platforms? How did D.C. home-rule advocates impact the historical trajectory of the rail system? Why are there only two tracks in Metro tunnels? Zachary Schrag, author of The Great Society Subway, joins u... Read more →
    Why are there so few seats on Metro platforms? How did D.C. home-rule advocates impact the historical trajectory of the rail system? Why are there only two tracks in Metro tunnels? Zachary Schrag, author of The Great Society Subway, joins u... Read more →

  • Episode 17: Will Nats Fans Have To Race To The Metro Station?
    Episode 17: Will Nats Fans Have To Race To The Metro Station?
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    Published: 3 Oct 2016 Duration: 15:15
    As playoff baseball returns to Washington, D.C., thousands of Nationals fans could face a choice: Stay for the end of a game, or leave early to catch the right Green Line train? Also, we discuss the acute misery of Blue Line riders: New dat... Read more →
    As playoff baseball returns to Washington, D.C., thousands of Nationals fans could face a choice: Stay for the end of a game, or leave early to catch the right Green Line train? Also, we discuss the acute misery of Blue Line riders: New dat... Read more →

  • Episode 16: Has Metro’s ‘Death Spiral’ Begun?
    Episode 16: Has Metro’s ‘Death Spiral’ Begun?
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    Published: 13 Sep 2016 Duration: 25:07
    More than a decade ago, a top Metro official warned of the potential for a "death spiral" involving a confluence of maintenance problems, budget pressures and rider dissatisfaction. Chris Zimmerman was on WMATA's board at the time, and he e... Read more →
    More than a decade ago, a top Metro official warned of the potential for a "death spiral" involving a confluence of maintenance problems, budget pressures and rider dissatisfaction. Chris Zimmerman was on WMATA's board at the time, and he e... Read more →

  • Episode 15: Report Cards, Wish Lists And Maglevs
    Episode 15: Report Cards, Wish Lists And Maglevs
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    Published: 6 Sep 2016 Duration: 26:49
    WMATA regularly gives itself a report card called Vital Signs, and the latest has some good news about railcar reliability, but bad news about on-time performance. We also discuss what Metro riders really want, and whether the U.S. has the ... Read more →
    WMATA regularly gives itself a report card called Vital Signs, and the latest has some good news about railcar reliability, but bad news about on-time performance. We also discuss what Metro riders really want, and whether the U.S. has the ... Read more →

  • Episode 14: Broken Culture, Honest Announcements
    Episode 14: Broken Culture, Honest Announcements
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    Published: 29 Aug 2016 Duration: 34:13
    We talk to Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans about what he wants to see as the transit agency tries to fix its infrastructure and its culture. We also hear more from the man in the middle of it all, General Manager Paul Wiedefeld. And who's t... Read more →
    We talk to Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans about what he wants to see as the transit agency tries to fix its infrastructure and its culture. We also hear more from the man in the middle of it all, General Manager Paul Wiedefeld. And who's t... Read more →

  • Episode 13: Metro’s Summer Of Stumbles
    Episode 13: Metro’s Summer Of Stumbles
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    Published: 19 Aug 2016 Duration: 25:30
    We walk through all the ways Metro is having a bad summer with Politico's Lauren Gardner, Greater Greater Washington's David Alpert and members of the Metropocalypse Facebook group. There's also bonus appearances from public radio luminarie... Read more →
    We walk through all the ways Metro is having a bad summer with Politico's Lauren Gardner, Greater Greater Washington's David Alpert and members of the Metropocalypse Facebook group. There's also bonus appearances from public radio luminarie... Read more →

  • Episode 12: ‘Death Star’ With Earth Tones
    Episode 12: ‘Death Star’ With Earth Tones
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    Published: 15 Aug 2016 Duration: 09:13
    Next time you're in an underground Metro station, look up and around. Are you in a calming streetscape setting? Or does it feel more like an interstellar battle station? Historian Zachary Schrag discusses the architects’ original intent.
    Next time you're in an underground Metro station, look up and around. Are you in a calming streetscape setting? Or does it feel more like an interstellar battle station? Historian Zachary Schrag discusses the architects’ original intent.

  • Episode 11: Track Fires vs. Garbage Fires
    Episode 11: Track Fires vs. Garbage Fires
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    Published: 8 Aug 2016 Duration: 22:30
    As the bad news keeps coming for WMATA, we've been thinking about how Metro's woes compare with those of older systems. Kate Hinds, who covers transportation for WNYC in New York, reminds us that every city's subway has its strengths and we... Read more →
    As the bad news keeps coming for WMATA, we've been thinking about how Metro's woes compare with those of older systems. Kate Hinds, who covers transportation for WNYC in New York, reminds us that every city's subway has its strengths and we... Read more →

  • Episode 10: Labor, Safety And Money
    Episode 10: Labor, Safety And Money
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    Published: 2 Aug 2016 Duration: 27:40
    Rep. Barbara Comstock discusses how changing the pay structure for Metro's unionized workers could help the transit agency close up some of its budgetary holes. And Jackie Jeter, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, offers a co... Read more →
    Rep. Barbara Comstock discusses how changing the pay structure for Metro's unionized workers could help the transit agency close up some of its budgetary holes. And Jackie Jeter, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, offers a co... Read more →

  • Episode 9: #Hotcars And Hot Work
    Episode 9: #Hotcars And Hot Work
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    Published: 26 Jul 2016 Duration: 20:43
    Why is the air conditioning so bad on some Metro cars? And what, exactly, is happening out on the Orange Line tracks during SafeTrack surge No. 5? Martin Di Caro goes looking for answers.
    Why is the air conditioning so bad on some Metro cars? And what, exactly, is happening out on the Orange Line tracks during SafeTrack surge No. 5? Martin Di Caro goes looking for answers.

  • Episode 8: Metropocalypse Now!
    Episode 8: Metropocalypse Now!
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    Published: 18 Jul 2016 Duration: 25:42
    Martin Di Caro and guest co-host Lauren Gardner of Politico take a bus bridge with Rep. Don Beyer and encounter a bottleneck along U.S. 1. Come for the conversation about politics and policy — stay for the impressions of Robert Duvall and M... Read more →
    Martin Di Caro and guest co-host Lauren Gardner of Politico take a bus bridge with Rep. Don Beyer and encounter a bottleneck along U.S. 1. Come for the conversation about politics and policy — stay for the impressions of Robert Duvall and M... Read more →