WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – Metro's issued a final, more gentle tweet before going silent Wednesday night after a fast tempo Twitter battle with WUSA9 – issuing no further tweets as of publication time Thursday night, more than 24 hours later.
Wednesday, Metro issued tweets calling into question a WUSA9 tweet that disclosing the agency's position that it does not have a consistent problem with the public address speakers on trains.
Earlier Wednesday, Metro spokesman Dan Stessel refused WUSA9 requests for an interview, saying its data was "diametrically opposite" our observations that about half the time, its speakers are difficult to understand.
Shortly after Metro dismissed the problem, WUSA9 tweeted a sample of a train announcement that is difficult to understand, which sparked the @WMATA rebuttals.
Here's the WUSA9 tweet that Metro counter-tweeted:
Minutes later Metro tweeted this:
The Twitter conversation evolved with hundreds of favorites, comments, and retweets supporting the WUSA9 inquiry.
24 hours later, a different Metro representative contacted WUSA9 with data that was not diametrically opposite.
"Metro uses a third-party "mystery rider" contractor to monitor the quality of train announcements," said spokeswoman Caroline Laurin. "In the most recent quarter, mystery riders found that announcements were understandable 85 percent of the time."
Metro's refusal to do an interview and dismissal of the problem angered many WUSA9 viewers, Facebook fans, and Twitter followers who said the response was symptomatic of a larger, system-wide response to customer complaints.
Users and viewers requested, and WUSA9 has agreed to embark on a Metro intervention.
We've notified WMATA that it will begin with an interview with the general manager, Richard Sarles. We'll be conducting the interview, in public whether Metro shows or not.
Note: A sentence stating Metro's data was not far off the WUSA9 estimate of 50 percent was removed from this story. Metro's data showed that announcements were understandable 85 percent of the time.