a Flawed System [#279]

Few years ago, out of the blues Metro authorities found that parking lot attendants were pocketing dollars and failed to account for the actual amount collected. Yes, in Shady groove alone about 1000 cars a Day, 25x4 = $100 a day. A huge racket was busted. However instead of punishing the actual thieves, and putting a financial audit on these collections, Metro decided to penalize the commuters instead.
 Metro picked up an auspicious day and announced a new system, they would not accept cash in their parking lot; commuters who park in the stations should have to this miserable smart card with balance. Though is called as Smart Card, it will not warn you if the balance is low. You will be in for surprises if you don’t keep track of the balance. In short, the card does nothing for you, it cost $5.00. As usual every news media outlet screamed about this but nothing much was done.

I felt this pain few weeks ago. I came back from work at around 10.15pm; I do have this Smart Card. I walked about a mile towards the parking lot in the bitter cold, took my car out, and alas wait the gate wouldn’t open! – The red LED on the brainless scanner blinked, there was a person sitting in the booth coolly told go back into the station to charge my card. There were 2 commuters behind me, little bit angry as I was standing there like jack ass. Yes! The dreadful no balance has struck me at 10.26pm, In order to get back out of the parking lot, I had to back up, park the car, and go back into the station - refill this damn card. Really Agonizing! And it was not only me there were 2 others who were busy cursing the system. They also backed up and joined me in the refill ceremony.

Why cant Metro install few recharging machines near parking lots or why not formulate a scanning device with recharging capabilities? When I find no balance at the nook corner of the station, I could recharge it then and there, instead of going around the station for n number of minutes?

Hey! wait a minute, be happy with what you have dude, thank god metro’s credit card validation system in the station was not broke, else you could have ended up spending the night in the station.

They do offer a credit card that can tied to this card now. I know there are many out there like me using this dumb little electro-synthetic called Smart Card issued by Dc metro. I like to meet the "smart people" who gave such a fantastic name to a dumb system. They call it pure genius, duh! The most important city in the world has the most pitiable metro car parking system in the world

ps: A followup, U.S. Approves Visa for Indian Scientist , The Washington Post reports.