You've probably seen the fancy new buses the city is using for some of the cooler routes - the new S9 express bus on 16th Street, for example. I was all excited to ride one. They look fancy and clean and new and quiet.
I got my chance today. The regular S2 was a new bus this morning, so I gleefully hopped on.
Wow, do the new buses suck. Not only is it clear that the person who designed the bus has never ridden a bus before, but I'm pretty sure they actually defy various laws of physics. I don't think these buses are very different in length, width, or height from the older buses, but they've somehow managed to drastically reduce the amount of usable space. Both styles of bus are basically rectangular prisms - volume equals length times width times height. So if the length, width, and height are approximately the same, the volume is approximately the same.
I'm not sure where the volume went on the new buses. Perhaps they've somehow raised it up - there seems to be enough head room for an entire basketball team, but they better be built like Kevin Garnett, not Lebron.
And don't get me started on the painted yellow floor by the back door. It actually tells you not to stand on it. Are they insane? I mean, sure, it would be nice if no one stood there - most bus crowding problems are due to inconsiderate and clueless people who stand by the door and block everyone else from moving to the back of the bus.
But who is going to obey the painted floor? The bus driver will yell at you if you leave that much space open during crowded commuting time. The other people on the bus will yell at you because they're packed in like sardines while you leave that space open. You do have to leave some space, though, because the idiotic back doors open in.
I'm going to go email WMATA right now and complain. I suggest you do the same.