Last year, we had a banner year for suicides on the DC METRO system. We had nine folks attempting it and seven successful. They all want to jump in front of the train at the last second (forget the bus system....no one ever wants a bus ending). Last week....going into 2012, we had two episodes. So the pressure got turned onto METRO for 2011.....they were told to do something. You can imagine management folks meeting and just groping anything to make the public happy.
So they said for 2011, that they'd train all of the 960 station managers and train engineers....but so far....they've only gotten to 180 folks. They are supposedly trained to "spot" suicidal riders. I sat and pondered over this.
The train engineers all sit in the cab....toward the front of the train. As they pull into the station....they might have two seconds of advance thinking or vision to grasp if some idiot is a jumper. The station manager? Well....they all tend to sit in their little cubicle shack, and they might walk around one hour out of the eight that they stand on duty. This $250k that they spent on this training program....was probably totally wasted.
The METRO folks also talked about this sign posting deal....where you'd have this 1-800 number to call and identify some guy looking "freaky". I sat there thinking over this. By the time you dial the number and mention the location....it's likely to be already too late.
The truth of the matter is that a suicidal person who wants a METRO ending....wants someone to help them with what they can't do. The odds of someone stopping the guy? I'd say less than one percent. But the public wants to put pressure on the METRO management.....you have to do something, even if it's all fake and doesn't really change the outcome. So thousands more will be spent in various training seminars and signs....and we simply have to accept that part of the deal.