Wednesday, March 16, 2016
For our Metroless day: public transit videos from our collection
In an unprecedented move, the entire Metro system is closed today. Whether or not this was the right choice, it means that DC is spending the day without its main form of public transit. There isn't a documentary about the DC Metro (as far as we know) so we've gathered together three timely media items about this unusual transportation problem.
Firstly and perhaps most seriously, you can stream Subway City, a documentary about all the people who pass through New York's underground rail system. It's not just about the commuters who use it to get to work but "those who work there, those who live there, and those who commit crimes there." Infrastructure on the scale of a subway system changes a city, and this film is a neat peek at what that cultural indentation looks like. (And today, you're seeing what happens when that system disappears.)
Next, for a bit of a laugh, the old newsreel Futuristic Transportation Needs (also streaming) features brief clips of vehicles meant to be the future of transport that missed the mark by a mile. Our favorite is the Aérotrain, the giant Flash Gordon-looking hovertrain pictured above.
And just for good measure, we also have a copy of the How I Met Your Mother episode Subway Wars (HU DVD 11576, Disc 1) in which the main characters try to out-race each other using whatever transportation they can find. The subway-riders don't win, though mostly because of an emotional forfeit.
The Metro may be increasingly dangerous, but be glad that you don't have to ride the Aérotrain. Hopefully we're back to normal tomororw