Just when this commuting thing was getting good, the VRE threw me a curve ball this morning. As I arrived at the VRE station, I was so happy to see so many available parking spaces – and the really good ones were still available up front!
After I refocused, I noticed the throngs of people standing around looking like they had just lost their jobs. Sad and bewildered, one of them cautioned me to “just turn around…this train ain’t going anywhere!,” she exclaimed like a train prophet warning the masses.
The first RED FLAG.
I did not heed her warning and I climbed to the platform where the conductor handed me a “Free Ride” certificate.
The second RED FLAG.
I asked him what was going on, and he said the train was going to be cleared soon, but I was getting a free ride for the inconvenience. What inconvenience I thought to myself…I just arrived. Then he announced the train was cleared to leave, and I boarded the train. But looking out to the parking lot, I noticed that most of my co-commuters stayed in the parking lot.
The third RED FLAG.
What was going on? Clearly the RED FLAGS were being shoved in my face – almost at every turn – but I chose to ignore them. Another rookie mistake.
Unfortunately, the train only traveled one station down the line, dumped everyone and left us on a ridiculously long line to catch a fleet of buses that were taking passengers to the nearest Metro station. As a parting message, and perhaps the last RED FLAG of the day, the conductor announced that he has never seen a disruption like this and we should check before heading to the VRE on the way home because it is unlikely that the trains will be up and running by later today.
I decided that I should start listening at this point. Once we arrived at the Springfield Metro station on the overcrowded bus, I ran to the taxi stand, spent $20.00 and completed the circle by retrieving my vehicle at the original VRE station. I drove to work.
Today, after numerous warnings, I abandoned the rails, but I have a “Free Ride” for next week J
Note: At 11:15 am, the VRE announced that the Norfolk Southern signal system was restored and all of the equipment was moved to Washington in order to run service this afternoon. VRE stated that they do not anticipate any delays this afternoon on the Manassas Line this afternoon and evening. I should have ignored that last RED FLAG!