Metro Investigations (First in a series): Broken Promises - Bad Dreams
Metro managers still struggling with a broken unsafe rail system
While the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority claims Metrorail services is getting “Back 2 Good” a four month long investigation by The Sentinel newspapers shows the Metro system is still suffering from a laundry list of ills – including more than 100 safety deficiencies.
Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said in June SafeTrack – WMATA’s yearlong effort to rehabili- tate its services was finished and three years worth of repairs were done in just a year. But Federal Transit Administration officials say there is still a list of 109 safety deficiencies that are past due.
“The mindset at the supervisor level and down is they really don’t do nothing unless they're specially directed to do it,” a former management level WMATA employee said. “They could walk right over something that was broke and not fix it because they were not told to do it.”
There is little doubt the Metrorail system is in desperate need of repair.
Despite a “Safetrack” plan by Metro to bring Metro “Back 2 Good” and despite all the inhouse ads on Metro touting its increased efforts to fix escalators, tracks, bring new metro rail cars online and clean up the metro stations, the federal government recently outlined more than 100 deficiencies the system still faces.
We at The Sentinel decided it was best since our readers are some of the most frequent Metro riders as they go to and from work, to take a close look at the Metro system.
Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said he is taking on the problem that causes a majority of Metrorail delays: the trains.
"Our goal for 2017 is to reduce train car-related delays by 25 percent and track related delays by 50 percent,” Wiedefeld said at a public hearing before a joint committee hearing Friday in the House of Representatives.
One way he plans to reach that goal is continue to increase the number of Metro’s newest railcars, the 7000 series.