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Letter: DASH Service Hits New Low

To the Editor:

Those of us who use DASH to travel to the Metro as part of our commute downtown are used to the unreliability of the service. On any given day a bus can arrive at a stop three minutes ahead of schedule, or 10 minutes behind. So most of us do our best to plan accordingly, and suffer as we must.

On Monday, April 15, however, DASH Service hit a new low, with the bus driver, the telephone operator, and manager each seeking to outdo each other.

Our story begins with yours truly waiting to catch the DASH bus to the Braddock Road metro. I arrived at the stop four minutes before the bus was scheduled to arrive there. Twenty minutes later, I called the DASH dispatcher to ask about the status of my no-show bus. After 5 minutes on hold, and having to repeat my inquiry to a second dispatcher, I was told that particular bus had already arrived at the Braddock Road station, which means the bus was at least 5 minute early (the cardinal sin of public transportation). A full 30 minutes after I had initially arrived at the stop, I boarded a DASH bus to begin my commute.

Incensed, I wrote a polite but firm email to DASH complaining about this awful service, and asked that they instruct their bus drivers on route to Braddock Road to maintain their pre-established schedule, or to hold at a stop if they arrive there five minutes early.

Four full days later as I write this, I have still not received a reply from DASH. In my job, we are required to respond to every customer inquiry within 24 hours, either with a complete answer or a status update with how long it will take us to complete their request.

I’ve made an inquiry at my job for a parking pass, as I have no desire to play this game again as the brutally hot and humid Washington summer approaches.

I hope by publishing this letter, we can encourage DASH to begin to address their gross shortcomings.

Joseph Ayoub

Alexandria