Taking The Train

I ride MetroLink. The trains aren’t exactly something you set your watch by. I have a lot of fun reading the site at www.metrolinktrainriders.com which reports the delays and other information that www.metrolinktrains.com doesn’t seem to have readily available to us commuters.

Now, at my company, I’m a big fan of the phrase “No Surprises”. I tell my direct reports that I don’t care how bad the news is, the worst thing in the world that can happen is that I’m in a meeting with my boss and he asks me about some issue or other that I haven’t been told about – wether it’s a project running late, a production support issue, or buggy software. I extend the same courtesy to my bosses – after all I don’t want them caught out in the cold either.

So it really surprises me when a large company like Metrolink that runs our trains into downtown LA seems to do it’s best to keep it’s riders in the dark about delays. Everyone knows delays happen, but when the causes keep getting swept under the rug – I have to wonder why they even bother to hide it? It’s not like we can do much about it – it would be nice to have a website i can check in the morning or even an email subscription alert go out when trains I take are being delayed so I can make alternate plans or drive to a different station based on the delays.

I can’t tell you how valuable it would be to me to know my morning train was delayed by 30 minutes and be able to spend a few more minutes with my daughter before heading off to work rather than sitting on a train platform waiting for a late train. After all, if Domino’s can track my pizza, how hard can it be to track a train?

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