Washington, D.C. is a magical place to both live and visit. Even during a heatwave, there are plenty of things to do, see, and experience while you also enjoy the air conditioning.
However, the magic of the district is often ruined by the infamous metro system. Constant breakdowns, rude people, scurrying creatures found in underground stations can all put a damper on your experience. Combined with the heat of the summer, riding the metro during the hottest months of the year can turn the happiest people into Grumpy from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Think I’m kidding? Here are six ways the metro is a total dread in the summer.
1. The Heat.
Ok Union Station is the hottest! 97 degrees…and you can feel that heat.
— Jess Arnold (@JessArnoldTV) July 20, 2019
Let’s be honest: When it’s 100+ degrees in the district, it’s not a pleasant experience for anyone. The city is humid and you can guarantee that your shirt will be soaked worse than standing outside in a hurricane. However, the brutal heat is amplified in the underground metro stations and cars. When the AC is running in these stations, you’ll feel toasty. But when the AC breaks down (and expect that it’ll break more often than not), be prepared to step into a crowded, underground oven.
2. The Dirty Cars
— Jessica Stone (@MediocreFred) July 19, 2019
You’ve been sightseeing all day and you want to take a load off for a few minutes on the metro while you travel to your next destination. Well, you better think twice. By entering any given train, you’re gambling on whether you’ll find this in your perspective seat. And no day is never more ruined than getting hyped to relax on the train only to see what one hopes to be BBQ chicken wings splattered all over the cushions.
3. The Smell
I describe the smell of D.C. Metrorail stations as “OMG”: Ozone, Mold, and Grease. #wmata
— Jim Safley (@jimsafley) March 13, 2019
Do you know what rotten eggs smell like? You do? Congrats! You now know what metro stations smell like over the summer (looking at you L’Enfant Plaza). Officials have chalked it up to brake dust but if you ask me, the smell is more a mix of oil, grease, smoke, train fires, urine, neglect, and sadness.
4. The Chance of Getting Soaked
— Josh Marks (@JoshuaJMarks) July 8, 2019
Taking a quick dip in the water can rejuvenate you after a brutal summer day. That is unless you are forced to take that dip on a metro train. Yeah, no thank you!
5. The Delays & Broken Escalators
— TooTallTed (@Too_Tall_Ted) July 16, 2019
D.C. is a busy city filled with even busier people. So when extensive delays force riders to huddle together in a hot station, it sparks hatred amongst all. When you add having to walk up Rosslyn’s (or any station for that matter) broken escalators, it’ll make you want to crawl up in a hole.
6. The Late Night Closures
Warm nights inside the beltway present the perfect time to live it up by checking out some of the city’s best restaurants, catch a baseball game at Nationals Park or even take a nice stroll around the National Mall. However, don’t stay out late for too long. The rail closes at 11:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 p.m. on Fridays. For those of us who are night owls, closing the metro early only forces us to stay inside rather than experience the pain of booking a surcharged Uber.
Jokes aside, the metro system can often be an enjoyable and convenient means of transportation for D.C. citizens. Even with all the issues that come with riding the metro during the summer, at least we have access to a public transportation system.