VRE Confessional
Posted on 08.20.10 by Danny Glover @ 6:25 pm

Truer words about Virginia Railway Express were never spoken than these by VRE chief executive Dale Zehner in the latest “Train Talk” e-mail distributed yesterday: “This summer has been a difficult one for VRE staff and riders alike.”

In a span of less than two months, I earned seven free-ride certificates because of lengthy VRE delays. Two were the result of train breakdowns ahead of the one I was riding and a third was caused by a power failure on my train. Flash-flood warnings forced VRE to putt along at about five miles an hour during two other commutes. I’ve forgotten what caused the other two delays.

All but two of the delays occurred in the evenings, so they seriously cut into my family time during the week. All told, I lost more than seven hours of my life, basically an extra work day, because VRE couldn’t get its act together.

Before all the troubles started, I was a VRE fan; now I’m a perpetual critic of the system, on this blog, Facebook and my Twitter account (@Danny_Glover). I hope Zehner was serious when he wrote this:

Don’t think for a second that I take your loyalty for granted, because I don’t. No one at VRE does. You are the driving force for what we do here at VRE. I pledge to you that VRE is determined to make improvements, earn back your trust in us to get you to work and home, safely and on-time.

VRE already has lost my loyalty — the only reason I’m still riding is because I’d lose at least twice as many hours of my life driving into Washington or to the Metro every day — and it definitely will have to earn my trust again.

Filed under: Business and D.C. Commuter Diary and People

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