WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- This story began last week, when investigative reporter Russ Ptacek requested an interview with Washington Metro Area Transit Authority's top brass regarding Russ's experience with Metro's audio announcements -- namely, that some are hard to understand.
WMATA officials replied that their data showed them "diametrically opposite" information, and refused to say more. That's when, from @russptacek, Russ posted a sample of audio he recorded from a Metro train and asked his followers whether they could understand it or not.
What ensued was a Twitter war between WMATA's social media and Russ.
Monday, we sent emails, left messages and even posted a Facebook invite, asking WMATA's General Manager Richard Sarles to come meet us for a Metro Intervention at Farragut North's Metro stop between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m..
But our team was left talking to an empty chair. Unlike WMATA's GM, lots of Metro riders saw our invitation and came to pose their own transit questions to our Sarles stand-in (a cardboard cutout), including D.C. Council member and mayoral candidate Tommy Wells. Wells promised to talk with WMATA about their lack of response, and to try to get answers to the questions we and other DC-area transit customers are trying to get answered.
Tuesday, we'll be breaking down our data regarding Metro's fuzzy speakers and mumbling announcers, showing how many announcements we heard loud and clear versus the ones we don't think anyone can understand.