I rode the red line 6 times yesterday. Three things to note:
1. Tourists are actively avoiding the last cars in the trains. I overheard them acknowledging out loud that it makes them uncomfortable. It’s most obvious at stations like Gallery Place-Chinatown where the escalator deposits riders at the end of the platform and forces you to walk the length of the train to get to the front.
2. It may have just been the series of trains I was on, but now that WMATA has temporarily suspended the automatic train operation system I find the ride to be much smoother. Twice, while engrossed in the babyish pages of Infinite Jest, I hadn’t even realized we had pulled into the station until the train stopped. The manual drivers seem to have a more controlled style of gradual braking. It was like flying a Thai Airways, if you know what I mean.