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“We Just Deal With It”

Broken Promises - Bad Dreams, A Metro Investigation (Second in a series)

Metro workers say many are afraid to report safety problems

Metro entranceWASHINGTON, D.C. — Metro union workers claim Metro management is the biggest problem in guaranteeing safety.

According to Raymond Jackson, who represents Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, Metro workers say they are afraid to report safety problems because supervisors react negatively when they do. Jackson, executive vice president of Local 689, said instances in which Metro workers fail to report safety concerns occur often, and they are more frequent than most realize. For many, not reporting safety issues is becoming second-nature.

“We’ve been dealing with it for so long, we just deal with it,” Jackson said. “You just deal with per se not working safe.”

ATU Local 689 spokesperson David Stephen said the union would not violate Metro policy through facilitating interviews for a reporter with frontline workers. 

“It is against their company policy,” Stephen said. “They can be fired for that. You’re asking our members to speak to you so they can get fired. I will not, absolutely not do that.”

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Wile E. Coyote and the Metro rider

MC DC Wile E. Coyotes Acme Purchases Better Than Metro in BWThere 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.

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Metro GM concedes problems but has hope

  • Published in Local

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WASHINGTON – Metro needs to focus more on maintenance of Metrorail and Metrobus and less on expanding them, according to the mass transit organization’s general manager.

After a few months on the job, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said he was concerned about instruction on the region’s largest commuter rail service.

“It’s much worse than I expected,” he said Monday at the National Press Club.

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A long way to go and no way to get there

PencilPaper“I really think WMATA has a long way to go to improve its transparency and its communication in order to maintain public confidence.” - Montgomery County Council Member Tom Hucker (D-5)

In a nutshell, the ongoing problems with the local subway system continue to bedevil the managers at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and those managers have no one to blame for their problems but themselves.

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